vocabularies of motive

vocabularies of motive

the verbalizations and terminologies employed by social actors, not only to describe their motives but to persuade others as to the acceptability of their actions. As used by MILLS (1940), such vocabularies of motivation do not refer to the universal psychic structure of the human organism, rather they are the typical terms in which, in particular societies, actors justify their actions. It is suggested by Gerth and Mills (1953) that these vocabularies become embedded in our individual and collective psychic structure, but in particular, rather than universal, ways.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
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Situated actions and vocabularies of motive. American Sociological Review, 5, 904-913.
In this volume intended for students and general readers, Curra (criminal justice, Eastern Kentucky U.) examines deviance as a social construction of individuals in specific situations at specific times, and considers the role of power, conflict, norms, labeling, culture, vocabularies of motive, rationalizations, retrospective interpretation, stigma, accounts, ideologies, techniques of neutralization, and social reactions.
In keeping with her theoretical framework, Garey argues that "making plans, responding to opportunities, and being forced to change course are not only ways of charting action, but are also vocabularies of motive" (p.
Wright Mills called "the vocabularies of motive," Under the Cover of Kindness has a two-fold purpose: "on the one hand, an examination of how social work uses power; on the other, an attempt to analyze the mechanics of social work language, to show how what is said to be in clients' interests, in their language, is really in social work's interests, in social work language" (p.