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First, does a person do something because of an

internal need or desire which must be satisfied, or

are they stimulated to action by an external event?

Second, are they pursuing specific goals, or are they

motivated by general drives? Third, is their motivation

based on a cognitive calculation or judgment,

or on anemotional reaction? Fourth, is it something

of which the individual is conscious and aware, or

something of which he or she has little awareness?

Finally, is it a function of innate and inherent properties

of the individual, or is it developed over time?

Many otherwise quite incompatible theories, for

example, ps yc ho an al ys is and sociobiology, have

argued that there are fundamental underlying

drives which are part of a person’s biological endowment.

Individuals seek the satisfaction of these

drives through the pursuit of pleasurable stimuli

and the avoidance of noxious ones with highly

significant consequences for the character of persons,

their social relations, and the social order

that follows. Necessarily, an account of a generalized

drive towards, for example, sexual engagement,

presumes a cognitive apparatus that can

organize one’s behavior in the light of a specific

demand or opportunity, but often these theories

are less forthcoming on this matter. In contrast,

many more cognitive accounts – for example, expectancy

value theory – prioritize the cognitive

component in the individual’s pervasive motivation

to maximize benefits and minimize costs

without paying much attention to how value is


Many authors have proposed that motivation

may be an important area of individual difference.

Abraham Maslow (1908–70) proposed that societies

as a whole will vary as a function of a

hierarchy of human needs. In this, individuals

will first be motivated by physiological needs

such as food and water. When that need is satisfied,

the motivation will be for safety, followed by

social engagement, then personal esteem, and

finally self-actualization. As a society or social

group enables the easy satisfaction of these needs,

motivation motivation


so the individuals will be motivated by the higher

levels in the hierarchy. DAVID GOOD

multicultural citizenship

– see citizenship.


There are two tensions within multiculturalism

that sociology inherits. First, multiculturalism

has come to define a set of state policies to

manage (neutralize, nullify, subdue, or conquer)

difference (multiculturalism as policy). Second,

it also has come to define those strategies that

mount resistances to state management policies

of difference (multiculturalism as politics). Thus,

multiculturalism has come to express both a

will to difference and a will to sameness (equity,

equality, fairness) simultaneously.

These tensions are not unique to multiculturalism.

In the second half of the twentieth century,

many struggles for social justice have mobilized

identity and difference and placed new demands

on citizenship. There are two reasons for this.

First, which may be called the politics of identity,

many social movements (civil rights and women’s

and indigenous peoples’ rights being principal

examples) called into question the shortcomings

of the ideal of universal citizenship in practice,

signaling that, while being formally citizens, their

identities still excluded them from rights of citizenship.

Second, which may be called the politics

of difference, many social groups articulated

rights that accrued to them on the basis of their

difference. Struggles for minority rights in language,

schooling, and public appearance were

often waged on this basis. The politics of recognition

(combining the politics of identity and difference)

has, therefore, increasingly mobilized itself

as simultaneous and conflicting claims to sameness

and difference, inclusion and exclusion, and

rights and obligations.

Multiculturalism, both as policy and politics,

inherited these tensions from other forms of politics

of recognition but displayed unique characteristics

(see, for example, Danielle Juteau,

“Beyond Multiculturalist Citizenship: The Challenge

of Pluralism in Canada,” 1997). These tensions

can be traced to the origins of the concept

itself (for example, Mark Lopez, The Origins of Multiculturalism

in Australian Politics 1945–1975, 2000).

On the one hand, multiculturalism meant rights

for cultural minorities but, on the other, their

assimilation into the dominant culture. Both

these tensions can be observed in its official incarnation

when, on October 8, 1971, Canadian Prime

Minister Pierre Trudeau spoke in the House

of Commons to proclaim Canada’s policy of multiculturalism.

He said, “There is no official [Canadian]

culture, nor does any ethnic group take

precedence over any other. No citizen or group

of citizens is other than Canadian, and all

should be treated fairly.” With astonishing clarity,

what Trudeau was proclaiming was both the absence

and presence of a dominant (in this case,

“Canadian”) culture.

This proclamation announced the acceptance of

the material conditions of the politics of recognition,

which was brewing in North American but

also European and Australian cities. The shifting

patterns of global migration and immigration

resulted, within a few decades in the second

half of the twentieth century, in cities such as

Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Amsterdam,

London, Sydney, and Melbourne becoming

home to large numbers of foreign-born residents

with ostensibly radically different cultural backgrounds

from those of their host cities and

nations, as illustrated by Leonie Sandercock, Towards

Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities

(1998). Yet, this pattern was not so different from

the massive sea-change experienced in almost all

those cities at the turn of the twentieth century

when their populations had “welcomed” vast

numbers of foreign-born residents. It is often forgotten

that, proportionally speaking, there were

more foreign-born residents in New York and Chicago

at the turn of the twentieth century than at

that of the twenty-first. Yet at the turn of the

twentieth century the decisive requirement was


This is probably the source of the paradox of

multiculturalism. While, at the turn of the twentieth

century, sociology, especially what came to

be known as the Chicago School and its urban

ecology, emerged out of a milieu that had asked

assimilation of its minorities, by the late twentieth

century society could no longer do so, at least

not explicitly (for example, Bhikhu C. Parekh, Rethinking

Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political

Theory, 2000). If, at the turn of the twentieth

century, the service that sociology was pressed

into was the achievement of the assimilation of

these minority cultures into the dominant host

culture, by the end of the century confidence in

that possibility, for various complex reasons, was

shaken, and thus was born the policy and politics

of multiculturalism. As policy, multiculturalism

still clung to “integration,” “cohesion,” and “inclusion”

as euphemisms to stand for assimilation

but, as politics, multiculturalism also increasingly

multicultural citizenship multiculturalism


articulated demands for differentiated citizenship

as rights and obligations, as shown by Seyla Benhabib,

The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in

the Global Era (2002) and Will Kymlicka, Multicultural

Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights

(1995). The sociology of multiculturalism embodies

these tensions by pressing itself, on the

one hand, in the service of integration, cohesion,

and inclusion, and, articulating, on the other, new

ways of being different yet equal in postnational

states and their cities.

Multiculturalism, either as policy or politics,

may well have exhausted its possibilities. It was

never as accepted and embraced in the United

States and Europe as it was in Canada, and it has

had a variegated history in Australia. The growing

securitization of the state and politicization and

racialization of borders, and the growing conflicts

between Muslim minorities and dominant cultures,

have already shifted the discourse in the

United States and Europe from multiculturalism

to euphemisms of “integration” and “cohesion.”

Whatever the concepts deployed, the tensions of

the politics of recognition will continue to influence

the research and political agendas.


multilevel models

– see modeling.

multilevel regression model

– see modeling.

multiple level regression

– see regression.

multivariate analysis

This is the generic term for analyses that involve

many variables, such as multiple regression, cluster

analysis, or log linear analyses. Typically,

they are used to determine the relative importance

of a number of independent variables on

one dependent variable. An example of this is

given in the description of regression. The most

important reason for using multivariate analyses

in sociological research is that many sociological

phenomena have multiple overlapping causes,

and it is difficult to unravel the relative importance

of each of them by simply examining

the correlations between pairs of variables

(bivariate analysis). (The other type of analysis,

alongside multivariate and bivariate is univariate

analysis – looking at just one variable at a time,

such as when examining the averages of individual


It is often noted that children whose parents get

divorced during their childhoods experience disadvantage

later in their lives (for instance, in their

educational outcomes or the status of their jobs as

adults). But this simple correlation tells us little

about the relative importance of a number of

factors that could have brought this about. Is

being brought up by one parent inherently inferior

to being raised by two parents? Or could it be

that other factors are to blame? For instance,

many single-parent families live in poverty, are

forced to live in poorer neighbourhoods where

the schooling might be of lower quality, or experience

prejudice in society. Or perhaps it was living

in households with higher levels of conflict before

the separation or divorce that caused the disruptions

to the children’s development?

Such a complex web of interrelated variables

would be nigh impossible to unravel with simple

bivariate analyses. But, given an appropriate dataset

(for instance, a birth cohort study) and multivariate

analyses, the relative importance of each

of these factors, and many more, can be understood

in detail, as in, for example, B. J. Elliott and

M. P. M. Richards, “Children and Divorce: Educational

Performance, and Behavior, Before and

After Parental Separation” (1991, International Journal

of Law and the Family).

Another great advantage of multivariate interactions

is that they permit the investigation of the

complex way in which independent variables combine

to influence other variables. For instance,

there is evidence that individuals with larger

social networks cope better with stressful life

events, such as unemployment. So unemployment

or social networks might only have mild effects by

themselves, but, for those individuals with limited

social networks, unemployment might have a

greater effect on their well-being. In this case

there is an interaction between unemployment

and social support affecting well-being – a relationship

that cannot be adequately described by

the bivariate relationships between social networks

and wellbeing or unemployment and wellbeing.

Multivariate analyses can also be performed

where there are several dependent variables that

might be considered simultaneously. For instance,

in medical sociology, if one is interested in health

outcomes, rather than analyzing a whole raft of

health measures separately (such as blood pressure,

body mass index, cholesterol levels, cortisol

levels, and self-rated depression), they could all

be analyzed simultaneously using multivariate

analysis of variance.

multilevel models multivariate analysis


Before the advent of computers, multivariate

analyses were considered an advanced technique,

only attempted by the statistically most competent

social scientists. More recently, computer

packages such as the Statistical Package for Social

Scientists (SPSS) have made them more accessible

to all social scientists, and multivariate analyses

are taught in most sociology undergraduate


Mumford, Lewis (1895–1990)

Recognized as an architectural critic, Mumford’s

most enduring legacy may well have been as a

social and political critic, raising fundamental

questions about modernity and its drive towards

technological progress. An independent scholar,

he followed his The Story of Utopias (1921) with

imaginative and original books including Sticks

and Stones: A Study of American Architecture and

Civilization (1924), the widely acclaimed The Culture

of Cities (1938), and the trenchant The City in

History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects

(1961). His Technics and Civilization (1934)

provided the first glimpse of his developing critical

views on technology. His later The Myth of the

Machine: Technics and Human Development (1967)

and The Myth of the Machine: The Pentagon of Power

(1971) fully developed these early critical

thoughts on technology, power, and democratic


Mumford was independent in at least two

senses. According to D. L. Miller, Lewis Mumford, a

Life (1992), he did not have an institutional employment

all his life and, perhaps consequently,

developed an original and prodigious mind along

with a powerful literary style. This combination

gave him an independent voice that was as resolute

as it was agile, highlighting, in equal measure,

the darkest and brightest aspects of being

social throughout human history. In his The Culture

of Cities (1938), he had already developed an

idea of the city both as being the institution for

fulfilling the brightest possibilities of being social

and as enacting its darkest nightmares. He did not

flinch from calling the city a war machine right

from its inception and yet believed that it could,

and indeed it did in certain periods of human

history, become the crucible of the outmost possibilities

of being social. Similarly, his views on

the increasing reliance on technological progress

did not deter him from investing in human capacities

for collective responsibility, whether that

meant planning urban regions or stopping

nuclear proliferation. ENGIN ISIN

Myrdal, Gunnar (1898–1987)

A Swedish economist and sociologist, Myrdal was

educated and subsequently taught at the University

of Stockholm and held a Chair in Political

Economy and International Economics. He was

also active in Swedish politics and was elected to

the Senate as a member of the Social Democratic

Party in 1934, and again as Minister for Commerce

in 1945–7. In 1974 he was jointly awarded the Nobel

Prize for Economics together with F. A. Hayek.

He, together with a research team of thirty-eight

members, was commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation

to study the social, economic, and lifestyle

conditions of black Americans in the United

States. The result was a carefully and extensively

documented 1,500-page report which was published

as The American Dilemma (1944). The report

pointed to the gap between the American democratic

ideal of the equality of man, and the reality

of racial segregation and denial of civil and political

rights that American blacks experienced. It

discussed the caste-like relations between blacks

and whites and the processes of cumulative causation

that maintained and reinforced racism. The

work was crucial in the Supreme Court’s decision

to rule against the “separate but equal” law in the

1954 Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka case,

which outlawed racial segregation in public


His other major publications include The Political

Element in the Development of Economic Theory (1930)

and a three-volume study of South Asia, Asian

Drama: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Nations (1968).



From the Greek muthos (plot or story), this term

now circulates in religious studies and in anthropology

largely free of the association with error,

delusion, or childish flights of imagination that it

had for many scholars of the nineteenth century

and still has in popular usage today. Bronislaw

Malinowski is transitional; myths are for him primarily

functional instruments deployed in ritual

contexts to lay claim to specific properties or titles,

but their specific messages are barely interpretable

at best. From Sigmund Freud to Bruno Bettelheim

(1903–90), myths are collective displacements onto

the symbolic plane of common but illicit desires

whose literal representation would be unbearable.

For Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) and his still considerable

following, the motifs found so widely in

mythologies throughout the world arise from a

collective – indeed, pan-human – unconscious of a

Mumford, Lewis (1895–1990) myth


less exclusively libidinous nature and serve less

defensive than therapeutic purposes. Both of these

psychoanalytic approaches must be distinguished

in turn from the existentialist approaches of

religionists such as Mircea Eliade (1907–86) and

Joseph Campbell (1904–87), who claim to find in

mythologies everywhere a common store of enduring

human concerns and virtues. Methodologically,

psychoanalytic and existentialist interpretations of

myth are largely substantialist; most presume that

the same symbol conveys the same meaning in

every one of its occurrences. In this respect, they

are typically at odds with Claude Le´vi-Strauss’s

structuralism, which rests in a positionalist theory

of meaning and whose decryptions uncover in

myths themselves socially specific messages having

a specifically ideological function and force.


myth myth




Associated with the doctrines of Sigmund Freud

and psychoanalysis, the term has come to enter

sociology as an account of certain pathological

trends of modern social life. Often interpreted as

a consequence of consumer society and the West’s

obsession with surface appearances, the rise of

narcissism is said to have played a significant

role in the shrinkage of public political life, thus

promoting a defensive, painfully empty search for


The sociological analysis of narcissism has been

plagued by lack of conceptual precision. It is important

to distinguish between three related

issues: first, psychodynamically, narcissistic disorders

have their origin in what Freud termed

“primary narcissism” – with the child remaining

stuck in a destructive omnipotence, which thus

prevents the development of healthy boundaries

between self and others. Second, in terms of

generations, narcissism is reproduced in capitalist

society through parents relating to their children

primarily as “investments.” Third, culturally, narcissistic

pathology is said to arise not only from

capitalism but as a result of globalization, mass

communications (see mass media and communications),

and the decline of tradition. Contemporary

patterns of narcissistic identity-formation are

thus conceptualized in sociology as at once thin

and precarious, as the self is outstripped by the

dislocations and terrors of modernity.

The sociological critique of narcissism is best

known through the writings of Richard Sennett,

Christopher Lasch, and Joel Kovel.


narrative analysis

Narrative as a topic of sociological investigation

has a long and diverse history. Interest in narrative

has always been predicated on the assumption

that to grasp adequately the nature of some

aspect of the social world one must analyze one’s

research subjects’ own understandings of their circumstances.

However, many different approaches

to accomplishing this project have emerged over

the years. The earliest exemplars for narrative

analysis in sociology used a combination of data

sources including oral histories, biographies,

interviews, diaries, letters, and archival records

to construct life histories of research subjects.

These life histories were sometimes held up as

important sociological chronicles in their own

right, but they were usually valued for the contributions

that could be made to more general sociological

topics by their use. Hence, individual life

histories have been compared to more general

narratives either to enrich what is known about

the experiences of ordinary people in particular

historical periods or to evaluate critically more

general theoretical claims about those periods.

Narrative analysis has thus been used as a prominent

resource in fulfilling the mandate for sociology

to understand the relations between history

and biography which C. Wright Mills famously

set in his book The Sociological Imagination (1959).

More recently, theoretical and political trends

within the discipline have further invigorated narrative

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