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focus on the determinants of voluntary migration.

The neoclassical economic model posits that migration

results from individual cost–benefit decisions

to maximize expected incomes by moving.

Workers are attracted from low-wage countries

with adequate labor, to a high-wage country with

limited labor.

The new economics-of-migration theory challenges

some of the hypotheses and assumptions

of neoclassical economics. It argues that migration

decisions are made not only by isolated individuals

but also by larger units, such as families

and households.

The dual-labor-market theory argues that migration

results from the labor demands of industrial

societies. International migration is caused

not only by the push factors of the origin countries,

but also by the pull factors of the destination

countries. Capitalism tends to separate

labor markets into two sectors, the primary

sector that produces jobs with tenure, high pay,

and good benefits and working conditions; and

the secondary sector, with the opposite. Employers

turn to immigrants to fill the jobs in the

secondary sector.

World-systems analysis argues that international

migration is the natural result of the

globalization of the economy. A large number of

people are released from traditional industries,

such as farming, creating a pool of people ready

to move, both internally and internationally. The

market economy attracts human capital to a relatively

small number of global cities, among them

New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Migration network theory focuses on networks:

that is, the interpersonal ties that connect migrants,

former migrants, potential migrants,

and nonmigrants in the origin and destination

countries. Networks increase the likelihood of

international movement by decreasing migrant

risks and costs and increasing the gains. Networks

make it easier for new migrants to find jobs in

destination countries.

The above theories and others endeavor to account

for the causal process of international migration

at different levels of analysis, namely, the

individual, the household, the country, and the

world. They are not necessarily incompatible.



– see war.

Mill, John Stuart (1806–1873)

Born in London, Mill was educated by his father,

with the assistance of the celebrated legal and

utilitarian theorist, Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832).

By the age of seventeen, he began publishing in

his father and Bentham’s Westminster Review. When

he was twenty, he suffered a nervous breakdown

and, questioning his father and Bentham’s ideas,

he turned to Romantic influences in general and

the work of Samuel Coleridge (1772–1834) in


In 1843, he published System of Logic in which he

argued that scientific method applied to social as

well as purely natural phenomena. In 1848 he

published Principles of Political Economy and he also

championed worker-owned cooperatives. His work

Utilitarianism, published in 1861, argued that the

pursuit of happiness was to be assessed not merely

by quantity but by quality.

Most influential of all, however, was On Liberty

(1859) – a book influenced by Alexis de Tocqueville’s

Democracy in America (1835 and 1840 [trans.

1968]), in which he warned that freedom can be

undermined as much by a “coercive” public opinion

as by arbitrary laws. In Considerations of Representative

Government (1861), Mill spoke of the

“infirmities” to which universal suffrage is subject,

while The Subjection of Women (1869) argued

that women’s “nature” cannot be known until

women live in a world of freedom.

He was elected as a Radical candidate to parliament

in 1865, introducing an amendment to the

1867 Reform Act (which he lost) arguing for

women’s suffrage. He criticized Governor Eyre’s

brutality in Jamaica and was defeated in the

1868 general election. JOHN HOFFMAN


– see religion.

migration millenarianism


Millett, Kate (1934– )

Born in Minnesota, Millett was educated at the

University of Minnesota, Oxford University, and

Columbia University; it was at Columbia that Millett

wrote her doctoral thesis, which was to be

published as Sexual Politics in 1970. The book was

an immediate bestseller and is one of the bestknown

of the works that became known collectively

as second-wave feminism. The thesis of the

book is that western culture (and in particular its

literature) is essentially misogynist; using the fiction

of D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Jean Genet,

and Norman Mailer as illustrative, Millett argues

that heterosexuality is used by men to degrade

women. This process of degradation is facilitated

by ideologies of romantic love and the patriarchal

structure of the nuclear family.

Millett’s success with Sexual Politics has been

followed by a number of other works: The Prostitution

Papers (1973), Flying (1974), and Sita (1977). The

last two works were largely autobiographical and

trace the impact on Millett both of her considerable

fame and of her shift in sexual identity,

from that of the wife of the Japanese sculptor

Fumio Yoshimura to the lover of the woman who

is the subject of Sita. The pressures and demands of

fame resulted in the mental breakdown which

became the subject of Millett’s The Loony Bin Trip

(1990), a searing account of time spent in institutions

for the mentally ill. Millett continues to write

and speak on feminist issues and her work provides

a radical corrective to some of the more liberal

politics of feminism in the United States. Millett

has not been afraid to confront issues of gender,

poverty, and powerlessness, while her own work

contains much on the confrontational sexual politics

which she has so forcefully contested.


Mills, C. Wright (1916–1962)

One of the most influential sociologists of the twentieth

century, Mills is perhaps best known for his

trilogy on the changing character of political power

in the United States. In the three books, The New

Men of Power (1948) about the labor movement,

White Collar (1951) about intellectuals and the

middle classes, and The Power Elite (1956) about the

convergence of interests among the military, big

business, and the government, Mills developed one

of the most sustained critiques of what he and

others came to call mass society. In attempting to

explain the new sort of society that had emerged in

the period after World War II, Mills also provided

important sources of inspiration for the student

movement of the 1960s.

Mills was a self-proclaimed outsider, an “academic

outlaw” in the postwar United States, and

throughout his life he was critical of what he saw

as the subservience of his fellow sociologists to

those in power.

Mills grew up in Texas, and wrote a doctoral

thesis in sociology on pragmatism at the University

of Wisconsin. He was Professor of Sociology at

Columbia University in New York, and, in addition

to his academic work, he wrote articles for such

publications as the Nation, Dissent, and Partisan

Review. Mills was known for having a colorful personality,

and took an active part in the political

debates of his times, writing popular books about

the Cold War and the arms race (The Causes of World

War Three, 1958), and the Cuban Revolution (Listen

Yankee, 1960) which he strongly supported, much

to the disapproval of his academic colleagues.

Throughout his short life – he died in 1962 at the

age of forty-six – Mills sought to combine indigenous

American social theory, deriving from populism

and pragmatism, with the theories of Karl

Marx and Max Weber. In addition to his own

writings, he edited anthologies on Marxism (The

Marxists, 1962) and Max Weber (From Max Weber:

Essays in Sociology, coedited with H. H. Gerth, 1946).

He presented his own approach to sociology in a

short volume, entitled The Sociological Imagination

(1959), which was based on lectures that he had

given in Europe. In that book, he outlined his

approach to sociological research, distinguishing

himself from what he termed grand theory, on

the one hand, and “abstracted empiricism,” on

the other. He associated the one style with the

work of Talcott Parsons, and the other with the

interest in quantitative methods that was becoming

the dominant form of sociological research in

his day. For Mills, sociology was best seen as a kind

of “intellectual craftsmanship,” and the sociological

imagination that he tried to foster was

meant to help people become conscious of their

place in history, as well as the social nature of the

problems that they faced. He wrote that such an

approach was not “ascendant” at the time, but, in

the intervening years, Mills has continued to serve

as a model for politically engaged and socially

committed sociology. ANDREW JAMISON

minority rights

– see rights.

Mitchell, Juliet (1940– )

Born in New Zealand, Mitchell has been a widely

influential writer who is responsible for having

Millett, Kate (1934– ) Mitchell, Juliet (1940– )


reclaimed Sigmund Freud for feminism and for

enabling feminism to use the insights of psychoanalysis

to illuminate the understanding of the

social and, more particularly, the symbolic world.

A long-time student of Marxism, Mitchell in 1971

published Woman’s Estate, which used the work

of Friedrich Engels to argue that women, across

cultures and social classes, were – as Engels had

suggested – the proletariat of the world. But it was

Psychoanalysis and Feminism (1974) which made a

lasting contribution to the study of gender; Mitchell’s

subtle and nuanced reading showed the possibilities

of Freud’s ideas about the instability

of gender and the dynamics of the formation of

gender identity. Contrary to previous readings

of Freud (for example, those of Kate Millett), which

had assumed that Freud took a rigid view of

gender divisions, Mitchell showed that Freud

understood the acquisition of gender identity as

a fluid and always uncertain process. Mitchell’s

work enabled later feminists to use psychoanalysis

as a way of exploring literature and the arts:

Mitchell’s understanding of the term woman,

like Freud’s, was of a possible, rather than a fixed,


Since the publication of Psychoanalysis and

Feminism, Mitchell has continued to work on the

politics of feminism (Women: The Longest Revolution,

1984) and on the social pressures that shape ideas

about gender (Mad Men and Medusas, 2000). In

all her work, Mitchell has maintained a recognition

of the divisions of class, as much as of gender,

in the social world, and a commitment to a

politics of radical and more egalitarian social

transformation. MARY EVANS


– see collective behavior.

mode of production

– see Karl Marx.


In its general sense, a model is an attempt to

depict or describe in a dynamic manner a social

reality, process, or institution. At this general

level, a model is synonymous with a theory.

A good model should be essential – in that it

covers the important characteristics and/or processes

of that which it is attempting to model –

and simple – the model should be less complex

and easier to comprehend than the reality itself.

What is essential will depend upon the purpose

of the model; for instance, an econometric model

that attempts to depict the workings of a nation’s

economy will highlight features and processes

quite different from a model of the diffusion of

popular culture fads through the same society.

The use of ideal types – the conceptualizations

of social phenomena in their abstract or pure

(hence ideal) form which then form a base against

which to compare the actual phenomena – can be

considered as a form of essentialist modeling.

Models imply heuristic prediction and it is for

this reason that their attempts to depict must be

dynamic rather than static explanations. The ultimate

test of a model is not how well it describes

the present or the past, but rather how well it is

capable of providing reliable predictions of its

future as parameters change.

Regarding types, models may either be opaque

or transparent. An opaque model makes no attempt

to duplicate the actual processes that occur

during the interim phases between input and

result. In effect, the true interim processes are

seen as a black box and the estimation procedures

of the model do not necessarily in any way resemble

what may be occurring in actuality within the

box. All that is required for a successful opaque

model is that it produces reliable predictions (outputs)

for any given change in parameters (inputs)

that accurately mimic what occurs in reality. In

contrast, transparent models do attempt to depict

internal interim phases. In this latter case, the

workings of the model itself may be of more interest

than the eventual outcomes that it predicts.

Statistical or multivariate causal modeling is a

more specific instance of modeling in which

the principles of modeling are applied to quantitative

data. All multivariate statistical models seek

to summarize information from a group of individual

cases (typically the “cases” are individuals

responding to a large sample survey) into an equation

or a set of predictive equations. Usually the

simplification is taken further by attempting to

eliminate redundant measures of characteristics

(“variables”) and redundant associations between

variables. Some statistical modeling techniques

(“measurement models”) go even further by

positing the hypothetical existence of ideal-type

variables that are essential representations of concepts

rather than actual measured variables. The

success of the application of a statistical modeling

technique can be measured by the amount of

variance it explains in its solution.

Statistical models are “opaque” models since

they are using abstract mathematical formulas

to depict qualitatively different social processes.

However, there are aspects of “transparency,” in

that analysts can: observe the dynamic shifting of

mobilization modeling


coefficient estimates as variables are introduced;

evaluate conceptual constructs by the combinations

of variables included in a model; discover

unanticipated complex patterns of multiple causality

through identifying statistical interactions

between two or more variables; and construct

more elaborate models by stringing a number of

equations together.

An early use of multivariate techniques in sociology

that explicitly claimed to be a model was the

use of path analysis by Otis Dudley Duncan and

Peter M. Blau to introduce the “status-attainment”

model of social mobility in the United States (The

American Occupational Structure, 1967). Working with

data from a large-sample survey of United States

men, Blau and Duncan put together the display of

results of a series of regression equations into a

single figure, a “path diagram.” Their basic diagram

is an attempt to depict the process of intergenerational

(inheritance) and intragenerational

(career) social mobility in the United States. In it,

an index of current occupational position (indexed

by a scale of status) is seen as being driven by point

of entry into the labor market (indexed by “first

job”), educational attainment (indexed by “years of

schooling”), and social origin (indexed by “father’s

job” and “father’s educational attainment”).

The original status-attainment model has

prompted four decades of subsequent work and

controversy about its validity around issues such

as its exclusion of women, the basic conceptualization

of its core values, and its implicit stance on

social stratification. The salient point here, however,

is that it displays the characteristics of a

multivariate causal model: a vastly complicated

process of social mobility is distilled down into a

set of essential relationships. Furthermore, the

construction of the model displays dynamic characteristics

since it is possible to trace indirect

causal effects along the “paths” of coefficients in

the model (for example, education may have a

direct effect on current occupational position

but also could have an indirect effect since education

can affect level of “first job,” which in turn

affects current occupation). In addition, a change

in a parameter, such as increasing the level of

education attained, would result in a change in

an “output” estimate: for example, the predicted

level of “first job” would be higher.

The number of multivariate statistical techniques

is legion, including: (1) analysis of variance

techniques; (2) techniques of regression analysis

(general linear analysis of parametric data;

logistic regression techniques where the dependent

variable is a quality, a nominal category;

multilevel modeling where the independent

variables exist on at least two levels of aggregation,

such as individual data plus group, area, and/

or organizational data) that have in common the

prediction of the values of a dependent variable

based upon the values of one or more independent

predictor variables; (3) techniques of data reduction,

such as factor analysis in which the

values of a number of observed variables are assumed

to reflect the presence of a smaller number

of unobserved “essential” variables; (4) “measurement

models” that are a combination of prediction

of regression with data reduction; and (5) loglinear

analysis techniques for the multivariate

modeling of relationships between non-parametric

data. Like modeling in general, all of these

multivariate techniques have simplification and

essentialism in common.



– see modeling.


Modernity is a civilizational epoch in the same

sense as Greco-Roman antiquity. Though modernity

originated in western Europe and North America

over two centuries ago, today it extends to

cosmopolitan centers around the globe and its

consequences affect all but the most isolated communities

in every country on earth. Modernity,

like all epochs, includes distinctive forms of economic

and political organization, characteristic

cultural institutions, and persistent tensions between

antithetical civilizational trends. It is also

an epoch that generates a distinctive set of ambivalent

reactions. A number of these tensions

and ambivalent reactions will be discussed in

itemized fashion in later sections of this entry.

Social theory as we know it today developed

when intellectuals began trying to make sense of

modernity as it matured during the nineteenth

century. However, early modern theorists disagreed

on how modernity should be defined, and

many of these disagreements have continued in

subsequent generations, albeit with numerous

additions and revisions. The parameters of modernity

can be grasped by noting the dynamic

forces that various early modern theorists maintained

were the prime movers of the history of

modernity. For Adam Smith (1723–90) and Karl

Marx, capitalism in the form of markets (Smith)

or profit-oriented production (Marx) was the mainspring

of modern social life. Henri Saint-Simon

and Auguste Comte maintained that scientific

modeling modernity


knowledge and technology ultimately would

direct modernity in a rational, orderly manner.

Alexis de Tocqueville stressed the transition from

aristocratic political organizations and the cultural

values of aristocratic elites to representative democratic

institutions and a culture based upon egalitarian

values.E´mile Durkheim stressed the modern

culture of individualism and the division of labor.

Until quite recently (see especially Michael Mann’s

The Sources of Social Power: Volume I, 1986, and Volume

II, 1996), social theorists had dealt with the intensively

developed and extensively organized nationstate

as a central feature of modernity only obliquely

(see especially the works of Max Weber).

However, most contemporary theorists consider

the nation-state, including its military forces,

social services bureaucracies, judicial system, educational

systems, and sources of revenue, as yet

another dynamic force of modernity.

Each of these dynamic forces contributes to modernity’s

most obvious defining trait: namely its endless

bouts of disruptive change. In fact, it can be said

without hyperbole that modernity is the most

unstable epoch that humanity has ever known.

The radical mutability of modernity is most easily

understood against the backdrop of premodern cultures

and civilizations, most of which did not welcome

dramatic change. Prior to modernity, most

rulers discouraged all but the most pragmatic

changes in the societies they controlled. Abrupt

change, with its unforeseeable results, might

threaten their dominion. (The conduct of wars

and the construction of empires were notable exceptions

in this regard.) Rulers sought the stabilizing

support of orthodox religions and they also

encouraged stable customs and traditions that

made commoners as suspicious of change as were

the rulers themselves. Only incremental changes

were quietly absorbed into everyday life.

Modernity makes the sharpest possible break

with the propensity for stasis in premodern social

epochs. Each of the dynamic forces of modernity,

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