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purely subjective attribute: “I am moral because I

think I am.” Although it is true that a person must

intend to be moral in order to be so, it would be

naive to suppose that the consequences of an act

can be ignored: the use of physical chastisement

in our contemporary world by authority figures

may be intended to instill morality, but its effects

are crippling and deforming.

The same can be said about the lack of knowledge

of the alternatives. Of course relativism

makes an input here, since knowledge that is

withheld must exist and be available. One can

hardly say, in a world in which research into

lung cancer and passive smoking has not taken

place, that smoking is inherently immoral; it becomes

immoral when knowledge is available but

not utilized. This point is crucial in linking morality

to an objective interest. An act is contrary to

objective interests if an individual would act in a

different way if he or she knew what others know.

There have to be what some call “counterfactuals,”

that is, meaningful alternatives which can

be chosen.

Authoritarian deformations of morality divorce

the objective and subjective in a dualistic way. The

norm is imposed from on high – the authority

figure knows best – or, as a reaction to this explicit

authoritarianism, the norm is not advocated at all

on the grounds that each must do as they please

even if this destroys the individual concerned or

the well-being of others. This holds whether moral

norms are being developed in children or adults.

Context is crucial, and the way that a moral norm

is expressed for a three-year-old obviously differs

dramatically from the way in which it would be

expressed for a young person of thirteen. Morality

is both objective and subjective, since an individual

must believe in the rightness of an action and that

action needs to contribute to their autonomy and

capacity to govern their own lives. The “moral” injunctions

associated with authoritarian rule –

whether of a personal or institutional kind – undermine

rather than further morality.

The attempt to present the study of society as a

science devoid of moral or normative implications

is misguided. Science itself, whether natural

or social, has moral implications. It is true that

the natural sciences study a realm outside human

activity, and it would obviously be perverse for a

zoologist to describe a queen bee as autocratic or

dictatorial. But this does not mean that the study

of nature is value-free. Humans are part of and

interact with the wider world of nature, and therefore

the study of nature cannot but affect their

lives. The discovery that the earth went around

morality morality

402

the sun was seen understandably as a threat to a



medieval outlook, and extraordinary lengths were

taken to repress those taking this view. To this

day, social Darwinism has proved controversial to

those who cling in fundamentalist fashion to what

they see as the letter of their holy text. Modern

ecology rightly poses the human–nature relationship

as crucial to our well-being, even though

there is sometimes the temptation to invert

traditional attitudes so that our equality with

nature is treated as though we were the same as

the rest of nature. This leads to the inversion of

traditional humanism rather than to the development

of a new and more concrete humanist

position.

The point is that the notion that factual statements

must be morally neutral treats the facts

in an atomistic way. Factual statements pose

relationships. Skeptics dismiss these necessary relationships

as purely metaphysical (that is, subjectively

imposed) while philosophical idealists

present these relationships as evidence of a higher

spiritual power. In fact, relationships derive from

movement in the material world and it is impossible

for an entity to move if it has no relationship

with its environment. All factual statements imply

relationships: sometimes these relationships are

commonplace in our culture and therefore they

are not controversial, but a lack of controversy

does not mean that there is an absence of values.

It merely means that the values are shared. The

statement that the World Trade Center in New

York was destroyed on September 11, 2001, is

agreed by terrorist and state functionary alike,

and the relationships which this statement postulates

between an act and a point in time are not

particularly important (although those who argue

that the act was somehow created by the media

may inject controversy into a statement even

like this).

Values derive from the relationships which

factual statements imply. There is therefore no

qualitative difference between the statements of

natural and social scientists in this area, although

(as the example of the zoologist illustrates), the

language appropriate to actions of humans differs

significantly from that appropriate to the behavior

of other natural beings and entities. At the

height of the behavioral revolution (a movement

that rejected the difference between humans

and the rest of nature), it was common to argue

in voting studies that apathy among ordinary

members of the public was functional for a democracy

because it enabled politicians to take decisions

with unimpeded expertise. Whatever one

thinks of this statement, it is not, as was claimed

at the time, a value-free discovery, since the

notion of functionalism smuggled in a moral judgment.

If apathy was functional, it was in practice

a good thing. The relationship that the functional

implies contains the values – whatever the

intention of the author.

Morality is thus inherent in society because relationships

are inherent in society. This morality

is both relative and absolute. It links to our autonomy

and capacity to govern our lives – a value

that we can only move towards but never absolutely

realize. Morality is subverted if values are

expressed in timeless fashion. Morality cannot be

developmental unless it is integrated into human

practice so that it helps us to improve and does

not stand over the individual us an alienated set

of unattainable ideals. Morality is inherently all

statements; it is a positivist argument that scientific

statements must be value-free. This position

ignores the relational character of factual statements,

and the way in which values derive from

the relationships implied. This position holds

for the natural as well as the social sciences for,

although there are undoubtedly differences between

the two, neither are morally neutral.

JOHN HOF FMAN

mores


– see norm(s).

mortality

The relative frequency of death in a population,

mortality is both a biological and a social phenomenon.

Demographers distinguish between two

aspects of mortality, namely, the life span, that

is, the oldest age to which humans survive; and

longevity, that is, the capability to survive from

one year to the next. Longevity has both biological

and social components, whereas life span tends to

be mainly biological.

An easily understood and interpreted method

for quantifying mortality is the crude death rate

(CDR), that is, the number of deaths in a population

in a given year, per 1,000 members of the

population. It may be expressed as follows:

CDR ¼ Death in the year

population at mid-year

_ 1,000

Using data for China for 2004, the equation becomes:



CDR ¼ 7; 800; 000

1; 300; 000; 000

_ 1; 000 ¼ 6

This means that in China in 2004, there were six

deaths for every 1,000 persons in the population.

Crude death rates among the countries of the

morality mortality

403


world in 2004 ranged from lows of 2 in Kuwait and

the United Arab Emirates to 26 in Botswana and

29 in Sierra Leone. The range of crude death rates

is narrower than that for crude birth rates. Crude

death rates, however, must be interpreted with

caution. When crude death rate comparisons are

made between countries, differences are sometimes

due to differences in age composition. Countries

with high proportions of young people will

usually have lower crude death rates than countries

with small proportions of young people.

When the countries of the world are categorized

into more developed and less developed and their

crude death rates examined, countries with low

death rates are found in both groups. This does

not mean that the more and less developed countries

have the same mortality experiences. For

although crude death rates are low in many countries

of the world, members of the populations of

the more developed countries have greater longevity,

that is they live longer, than those in the

less developed countries. Age-specific death rates

and age-standardized death rates should be used

to compare the mortality experiences of countries

with known differences in age composition.

The quantification of mortality is central to

demography. A key measure of the mortality experiences

of a population is the life table, and this

dates to John Graunt and his analyses of the Bills of

Mortality. The life table starts with a population (a

radix) of 100,000 at age 0; from each age to the

next, the population is decremented according to

age-specific mortality probabilities, until all

members have died; the mortality schedule is

fixed and does not change over the life of the

population. The basic life table consists of seven

columns including the probability of dying between

age x and age x þ n (nqx), the number of

survivors at exact age x (lx), the number of deaths

between age x and age x þ n (ndx), years lived

between age x and age x þ n (nLx), and life expectancy

after exact age x (ex0) .

Alfred J. T. Lotka (1880–1949), whom many

refer to as the person most responsible for the

development of modern demography, used life

tables in his development of the theory of stable

population. The concept of a stable population

was actually first set forth by L. Euler in “General

Research on Mortality and Multiplication,” Me´moires

de l’Acade´mie Royale des Sciences et Belles Lettres

(1760 [trans. 1970]), but its current development

stems from the work of Lotka, who first introduced

the concept in a brief note in 1907. Later,

F. R. Sharpe and A. Lotka in “A Problem in Age

Distribution” (1911), proved mathematically that

if a population that is closed to migration experiences

constant schedules of age-specific fertility

and mortality rates, it will develop a constant

age distribution and will grow at a constant rate,

irrespective of its initial age distribution. The

mathematical bases and foundation of stable

population theory are laid out and discussed in

many places, one of the better expositions being

A. J. Coale’s masterpiece, The Growth and Structure of

Human Populations (1972). A. J. Coale and P.

Demeny, in Regional Model Life Tables and Stable

Populations (1983), developed model life tables to

generalize about mortality under various different

conditions.

A primary aspect of quality of life, directly derived

from the life table, is life expectation. In

2004, life expectation at birth in the world was

65 for males and 69 for females. In more developed

countries it was 72 and 80, and in less

developed countries, 63 and 67. The highest life

expectation at birth was in Japan, 78 for males

and 85 for females; the lowest was in Sierra Leone

(34 for males, 36 for females), Zambia (35 for both

males and females), and Botswana (35 for males

and 36 for females) (Population Reference Bureau,

2004). Maximum potential life span refers to the

theoretically highest known age. The longest

known life span is 122 years and 5 months authenticated

as the age at death of Frenchwoman

Jeanne Louise Calment who died in August, 1997.

Another aspect of quality of life is the infant

mortality rate (IMR), or the number of deaths in

a year of infants under 1 year per 1,000 live births.

It is expressed as:

IMR ¼ deaths in the year to persons under age 1

live births in the year

_ 1; 000


The infant mortality rate is a combination of the

neonatal mortality rate (NMR) – deaths to babies

of 28 days of age or less per 1,000 live births – and

the post-neonatal mortality rate (PMR) – deaths to

babies of 29 days to 1 year of age per 1,000 live

births.


A major explanation of mortality change has its

origins in demographic transition theory (DTT).

DTT proposes four stages of mortality and fertility

decline that occur in the process of societal modernization.

The first is the pre-industrialization

era with high birth and death rates along with

stable population growth. With the onset of industrialization

and modernization, the society transitions

to lower death rates, especially lower infant

and maternal mortality, but maintains high birth

rates, with the result of rapid population growth.

The next stage is characterized by decreasing

mortality mortality

404


population growth due to lower birth and death

rates, which lead then to the final stage of low and

stable population growth.

Epidemiological Transition Theory (ETT) focuses

on the society-wide decline of infectious disease

and the rise of chronic degenerative causes of

death. According to epidemiological transition

theory as postulated by A. R. Omran in “The Epidemiologic

Transition: A Theory of the Epidemiology

of Population Change” (1971), there are three

stages. The first is the age of pestilence and famine

in which the primary causes of mortality were

influenza, pneumonia, smallpox, tuberculosis,

and other related diseases, with a high infant

and childhood mortality and a life expectancy

averaging between 20 and 40 years. The second is

the age of receding pandemics in which there was

a decline in mortality due to improved sanitation,

increases in standards of living and public health,

resulting in a steady increase in life expectancy to

between the ages of 30 and 50 years. According to

R. G. Rogers and R. Hackenberg in “Extending

Epidemiologic Transition Theory: A New Stage”

(1987), the stage of receding pandemics was

around 1875–1930. The third stage is known as

the era of degenerative and man-made diseases

(heart disease, cancer, and stroke), in which mortality

declines are due to medical advances in the

prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

The life expectancy at birth rises rapidly so that

fertility becomes the primary factor in population

growth as life expectancy exceeds 70 years. About

three-quarters of deaths in this stage are the result

of degenerative diseases in the advanced years.

Rogers and Hackenberg have noted a fourth

“hybristic stage” where mortality is heavily influenced

by individual behavior or lifestyle choices,

and deaths are due to social pathologies such as

accidents, alcoholism, suicide, and homicide, as

well as lifestyle issues such as smoking and diet.

The impact of mortality has been shown to vary

significantly according to social demographic

characteristics. People in higher social classes

live longer than those in the lower classes. In the

United States, Asians and whites live several years

longer than blacks and Hispanics, with blacks

having the shortest life expectancy. Married

people live longer than the single, separated, or

divorced. DUDLEY L . POSTON

Mosca, Gaetano (1858–1941)

An Italian jurist and political theorist, Mosca was

active in politics and administration. With Vilfredo

Pareto he contributed to the theory of elites.

Mosca was the author of two works of abiding

significance, Elementi di Scienza Politica (1896)

which was translated as The Ruling Class (1939)

and Lezioni di Storia delle Istituzioni e delle Dottrine

Politiche (1933 [trans. 1972]). In his critique of parliamentary

democracy, he argued that all political

regimes exhibit, or seek to hide, one fundamental

fact: the superiority/inferiority relationship between

the political class or ruling class, who possesses

political power, and the remainder of the

population. But the possession of power itself is

gained through a “struggle for prominence” between

competing groups, and a significant aspect

of that struggle is constituted by the political

formula employed by each group to assert itself

over the others, and to justify its own tenure of

power. Democracy is one such formula, capable of

generating legitimacy, although, like all other formulas,

it is at bottom irrational. However, there

are significant qualitative differences between

political regimes, and Mosca maintained his own

preference for a liberal one even when its Italian

version was destroyed by fascism.

GIANFRANCO POGGI

motherhood/mothers

By its very nature, the term motherhood is a relational

category. Thus women who are defined as

mothers are primarily understood in terms of their

relationships with their children. This means that

studies of motherhood can tend to focus solely on

the dyad of mother/child relationships. However,

from a sociological perspective, analyses of motherhood

have attempted to locate themselves in the

context of the social organization of much broader

themes such as (hetero)sexuality, conception, birth,

child rearing, child care, and paid work. Because

becoming a mother tends to be understood to be a

natural or biological process, it has been the task of

sociology to reveal the ways in which motherhood

changes in relation to other social transformations

and, within this, to explore how different elements

of motherhood (such as the ideologies of motherhood

or the experiences of motherhood in different

class or ethnic contexts) shift and adjust over time.

Early functionalist sociology treated motherhood

as a self-evident role for women in the context

of the married, nuclear family, and the sole

component of this role was seen to be the proper

socialization of children. This narrow perception

was challenged by feminist research in the 1970s

and 1980s when motherhood started to be analyzed

as a form of women’s oppression. This oppression

was seen to encompass two forms, in line

with the influential neo-Marxist framework of the

Mosca, Gaetano (1858–1941) motherhood/mothers

405

time. These forms were the material conditions of



motherhood and the ideology of motherhood. The

former paid attention to the fact that motherhood

isolated women from the labor market and made

them dependent upon the male breadwinner for

their economic survival. The latter identified the

ways in which women were seduced into becoming

mothers through a belief system which imposed

the idea that women could not be fulfilled

without children and which insisted that it was

natural for all women to be mothers (and hence

unnatural not to be). Radical feminists coined the

term “compulsory motherhood,” used by Adrienne

Rich in Of Woman Born (1977), thereby suggesting

that in a heterosexist and patriarchal

culture women had little choice but to become

mothers – not least because they could not refuse

to have sex with men, but also because they did

not have control over contraception and reproduction.

Alongside these structuralist approaches

to motherhood there developed an interest in

women’s experiences of being mothers, as illustrated

by Ann Oakley in Becoming a Mother (1979),

and these accounts gradually shifted the concentration

away from just the oppressive elements of

motherhood, towards some of the everyday benefits

and problems associated with becoming a

mother, such as negotiating with the professions

who take charge of motherhood, and combining

motherhood with paid employment. Mothers

themselves were increasingly seen as agents in

the process of mothering, rather than just the

victims, and emphasis was given to the idea that

mothers’ voices should be heard, in particular by

the medical and health care professions. More

recently, research on motherhood has taken into

account the significance of new reproductive

technologies which are seen as disruptive of the

taken-for-granted genetic link between mothers

and the children to whom they give birth. The

rise of surrogacy, embryo and egg donation, and

post-menopausal childbirth is changing further

the idea that motherhood is simply a natural

phase of women’s life course. CAROL SMART

motivation

Central to both lay and technical uses of this term

is the conception that motivation is why people do

what they do. None of the abilities or potential of

an individual will result in action without him or

her being motivated to act.

The range of meanings included in everyday talk

encompass the full range of meanings to be found

in the academic literature, and thereby foreshadow

the conceptual difficulties and wrangles

present in analyses of motivation. Standard dictionaries

refer to conscious and unconscious stimuli,

which are characterized either in terms of

internal psychological desires or beliefs, or in

terms of physical or social environmental conditions

leading to behavior which may be novel

or habitual, and learned or innate. While these

different elements can be used promiscuously

and speculatively in daily conversation, substantial

and different theoretical consequences follow

from each of them. Careful technical use needs to

bear in mind five important distinctions.

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