Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

The emergence of motives in liminal hotspots

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review



The concept of “motivation” commonly constructs as a psychological essence what is really the paradoxical imposition of a required desire. While the resulting impasse blocked theoretical development for around four decades, pragmatic motivational techniques evolved regardless. These could be (probably to no avail) dismissed for not taking account of the deep theoretical problems. This article suggests instead to rearticulate them with the conceptual repertoire of
liminal hotspots, which directs attention to the emergent nature of activities and collectives, and thus motives. This is done as part of an ongoing collaboration with counselors who experiment with different ways of helping young drug users without taking motivation as premise, in the sense of a prerequisite, for interventions. Data from recorded counseling sessions are analyzed
and rearticulated, first in terms of the classical motivation–resistance contradiction; then through pragmatic approaches in counseling, i.e., the prevalent cognitive-client-centered form and the “solution-focused brief therapy” approach—and finally as motives emergent in liminal hotspots.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory & Psychology
Pages (from-to)249-269
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Affect , Counseling, Drugs, Liminality, Motivation, Subjectivity

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 98938530