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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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7. Patterns on the Macro-Level 181


CHAPTER 7 Patterns on the Macro-Level This chapter deals with the consequences of the model of motivation for macro- sociological theory. The basic task ofinstitutions, structures and societies is to mobilise emotional energy. They are collective compromise formations, psychological defences, constructed by the effort of millions of people. They are to be seen as our collective psychological defence against regression and chaos. This chapter is occupied with patterns in the mobilisation, which cut across history and societies. The chapter fur- thermore investigates how the psyche influences social organisation on the societal level. An understanding of this process is the main challenge for macro-sociology. The following sections are devoted to the two matters discussed in Chapter 2: the structure of sociery and the direction of social change. The Structure of Society How can the motivational model developed in Chapter 4 contribute to our understand- ing of the structure of sociery? I have speculated that if sociery is indeed fundamentally structured in a uniform way throughout history, such structures must have their roots in the psyche. It follows from the principle of structuration as argued in Chapters 2 and 5· In Chapter 2 I introduced two major questions concerning the structure of society: 1. The source of the societal structures 2. The problem of ultimate primacy The Source of the Structures In Chapter 5 societal structures were defined as clusters of organisations and institu- tions. Here is an imponant distinction to make between structure and organisation. Patterns on the Macro-Level Whereas we...

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