3.5.1Social Development

3.5.1Social Development

Social development represents the qualitative changes in the structure and framework of society, that help individuals and the society as a whole to better realize its aims and objectives. Development is a process of social change, which can be broadly defined in a manner applicable to all societies at all historical periods as an upward ascending movement featuring greater levels

of energy, efficiency, quality, productivity, complexity, comprehension, creativity, mastery, enjoyment and accomplishment.  This process has been going on since the dawn of history. But during the last five centuries it has picked up in speed and intensity, and during the last five decades has witnessed a marked surge in acceleration.

Development is the result of society's capacity to organize human energies and productive resources to meet challenges and opportunities. Development is governed by many factors that influence the results of developmental efforts. There must be a motive that drives the social change and essential preconditions for that change to occur. The motive must be powerful enough to overcome obstructions that impede that change from occurring. Development also requires resources such as capital, technology, and supporting infrastructure.

Development pace and scope varies according to the stage society is in. The three main stages are physical, vital (vital refers to the dynamic and nervous social energies of humanity that propel individuals to accomplish), and mental. Human society passes through well-defined stages in the course of its development. They are nomadic hunting and gathering, rural agrarian, urban, commercial, industrial, and post-industrial societies. Pioneers introduce new ideas, practices, and habits that conservative elements initially resist. At a later stage, innovations are accepted, imitated, organized, and used by other members of the community. Organizational improvements introduced to support the innovations can take place simultaneously at four different levels—physical, social, mental, and psychological. Moreover four different types of resources are involved in promoting development. Of these four, physical resources are most visible, but least capable of expansion. Productivity of resources increases enormously as the quality of organization and level of knowledge inputs rise.

In order to understand this process, certain basic terms must be defined to set the context in which this action takes place and the stages through which it passes. The following key definitions explain the larger context in which this movement takes place and the alternating active statuses of self-conception that society adopts to define its current level of action.

Evolution is the progressive unfolding of higher levels of consciousness in terms of matter, life, mind and spirit that bring out through their interaction an ever increasing expressiveness of consciousness and its resultant forms, principles, powers, and forces in the previous and emerging levels of existence. The aim of this unfolding is the emergence of a self-conscious species possessing mastery over life through mastery of consciousness.

Survival  is an active status of the social self-conception of the collective and/or its representative individuals that conceives of life as a field of action with little or no potential and thus organizes its activities at a basic level that permits survival.

Growth  is an active status of the social self-conception of the collective and/or a number of representative individuals that conceives of life as a field of action with limited and narrow opportunities for self-initiative and accomplishment which organizes its energies and activities at a level that permits expansion of existing organizations to provide greater success, security, abundance and sustainability

Development is an active status of the social self-conception of the collective and/or a number of self-conscious individuals that conceives of life as essentially a field of action. This field of action contains forces, both external and internal, that can be observed, understood, organized and developed for action and that can be channeled and mastered in practice to achieve whatever the collective is able to conceive of as possible through the creation of higher order physical, vital, mental and spiritual organizations.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_development_theory