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A Model of Human Motivation for Sociology


Jacob Alsted

Many macro-sociologists have insufficient understanding of the roots of human motivation and this seriously hampers the effort to build theoretical models of society, social organisations and social change. The aim of this work is to remedy this deficiency. In this book, a model of motivation is constructed in order to demonstrate how it can improve our understanding of society. The aim here is an integration of concepts from psychology and sociology. Furthermore, it is the aim to clearly demonstrate that such a model adds new insights to our understanding of society. It can enrich key concepts used for analysis of meso- and macro-level phenomena. The author argues that the model of motivation can increase our understanding of, on the macro-level, the history of the state and, on the meso-level, dynamics in organisations.


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Acknowledgements 13


Acknowledgements Aie not all prefaces the same? Long lists of thanking and acknowledgements of little interest for the Reader, but essential to the author. This preface will be no different, I am afraid. Except perhaps on one point: a few thoughts on the character of academic deliberation. It seems that all academic deliberation in social sciences builds on criticism of others. Almost uniformly authors construct their arguments on a basis of criticism of other authors. In this work I also criticise a number of authors for different shortcom- ings and omissions. At times this criticism may seem harsh or even unfair. But it is my experience that almost all academic criticism contains an implicit element of admira- tion for the criticised. This goes for me as well. To find space for my own points I must carve out a niche in the massifs of socio- logical theory. My carving tool is criticism. However, my work builds on the authors I criticise. I owe these authors thanks for the inspiration they have given me and I owe them admiration for their achievements. So to all authors criticised in this book: please accept my appreciation of your contributions. I have received substantial help and support from a number of people when writing this book. The first person to thank is my wife Dine Haslund. My gratefulness does not stem from typewriting, readings of drafts or moral support, but from the rich source of intellectual inspiration, that she has willingly shared at any...

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