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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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6. Patterns on Meso-Level 159


CHAPTER 6 Patterns on Meso-Level We are now equipped to discuss some of the problems of meso level theory shown in Chapter 3 above. Groups, organisations and institutions are, as the psyche, in the business of mobilising resources - of releasing emotional energy. In this chapter we shall have a look at how this happens. To analyse social entities such as groups or societies means analysing compromise formations. How does compromise forma- tions form and develop in one of the basic social units, the group? In following we will have a look at how individual motivation structures co-operation in groups and how we can understand group development as psychological development. The Structure of Groups To understand groups we must have an idea of the structure of the interactions and relations within the group. In Chapter 3 it was argued that the concept of organisational structure remains unexplored on a deeper level in many theories and that this has consequences for the understanding of groups and organisations as a whole. It is advantageous to understand the source and character of groups and organisations structure. Following Kernberg, Rice and others I will argue that the group is structured much the same way the psyche is (Foulkes 1976: 264; Scheidlinger 1976: 226; Kernberg 1998: 15-16). Since all the members enter the group with the conflicting priorities of the tripartite psyche, the interactions in the group will be structured by these priori- ties. In the chaotic mess of interactions group members will seek to...

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