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Middle-income countries

Classified by the World Bank as countries whose GNP per capita is between $765 and $9,385
(in "Describing Poverty")


Change of position within a spatially defined unit with a change of the main place of residence. According to the duration of the stay, migration can be divided into non-permanent and permanent migration.
(in "Migration")

Millennium Declaration

Approved in September 2000 by the United Nations, the Millennium Declaration calls for a halving of the number of people living on less than one dollar a day by the year 2015.
(in "Describing Poverty")

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

The MDGs are a set of 8 time-bound goals to reduce poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women by the year 2015. They were agreed upon by the world's leaders at a special United Nations assembly in September 2000 to mark the turn of the century.
(in "Describing Poverty")
(in "Sustainable Development")
(in "Methodologies and Methods of Livelihoods Research")


In social sciences, mobility refers to the changes a person can make between different entities of a system. A distinction can be made between social and spatial mobility. Social mobility is the movement of individuals (or sometimes groups) between different positions in the hierarchy(ies) of social stratification within society (for instance from one social class in another), while spatial mobility refers to a displacement in physical space (for instance from one country to another).
(in "Migration")


Modernisation is the overall societal process, including industrialisation, by which previously agrarian, historical and contemporary societies become developed. The overall contrast usually drawn is between premodern and modernised societies. The term includes a wider range of social processes than industrialisation. In classical sociological theory, modernisation was conceptualised by Durkheim as involving a process of social differentiation, by Weber as a process of rationalisation, and by Marx as a process of commodification.
(in "Development Theories")


Modernity defines philosophical principles as well as a state of societies influenced by these principles. As a philosophy, it is opposed to tradition (which sees the role of the present to be a continuation of the past) and considers that progress makes a break of the present from the past possible. The term modernity is often used to characterize the state of Western societies based on modern principles between the mid-19th century and at least the second half of the 20th century. Whether globalisation leads to an extension of modernity to the entire world or marks the entrance into post-modernity is a subject of debate amongst social scientists.
(in "Globalisation Processes A")
(in "Development Theories")

Moral economy/Economy of affection

In traditional societies, each person and each household is a consumer as well as a producer. Social networks create mutual understanding to promote the survival of these social units in the face of scarcity; these social ties operate to prevent the economic actors in traditional societies from behaving to maximize personal profit. Traditional understandings arise as to the relative value of various goods and services; they are not independently re-negotiated for each transaction in an impersonal, anonymous market. These traditional understandings acquire the force of custom and, with increased social complexity, may eventually acquire the force of law.
"An economy in which a subsistence ethos guarantees at least minimal provisioning to all households." (Scott 1976)
"Its major benefit lies in its obvious capacity to minimize risk in an unpredictably varying natural and political environment." (Wiessner 1982)
(in "Actor-Orientation: The Societal Level")


Multiculturalism refers to a state of society, in which individual or group members of this society have different cultural backgrounds (whether linguistic, religious, ethnic or national) as opposed to a monocultural society in which those characteristics are more homogeneous among the population. Multiculturalism also refers to active policies of a state allowing groups from a different cultural background to be full members of the state without having to adopt the historically dominant culture.
(in "Globalisation Processes A")

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