What is Social Development and What Are Its Elements?July 2, 2021
The concept of social change is constantly confused with the concepts of development and progress. Social progress, regression or development is also a change. But in these forms of change, there is no statement of value and no differentiation for the better or for the worse. Social development, which we will focus on in this lesson, reveals a rather positive differentiation.
Economic facts such as national income per capita and the organization of economic life give clues about the level of social development. While the per capita income per capita in economically developed Northern European countries exceeds 20 thousand dollars, it falls below 100 dollars in sub-Saharan African countries. It is clear that individuals will receive better education and health services in countries with high levels of welfare and relatively fair distribution.
One of the most important variables that determine the level of development in a country is the general state of the economy of that country, in other words, the level of economic development and growth. Economic development refers to qualitative changes in economic life. For example, industrialization, division of labor, increase in qualified labor force, enabling entrepreneurship both represent a qualitative change and are indicators of economic development. Economic growth, on the other hand, refers to an increase in number and quantity within the existing structure rather than a change in the economic structure. For example, the increase in the rate of economic development and the increase in national income per capita.
Economic development and growth are not enough for social development to occur in a society. Social, cultural and political developments must also take place. The fact that a country is governed by democracy, in parallel with this, the spread of democratic culture to social relations, the establishment of a legal order that will guarantee human rights, and finally the establishment of a political system based on the rule of law constitute the most important pillar of social development after the economy. When we look at the developed countries in the world, we see that they have realized almost all of these developments.
One of the important elements completing social development is the place and width of the middle strata in the social stratification pyramid. The middle layer occupies a large place in the stratification pyramid of developed societies. The enlargement of the middle strata is both an element and a measure of social development. For this reason, every developed society tries to keep the middle strata, which balances the tensions and conflicts between the upper and lower strata, and constitutes the creative and dynamic side of the society, strong with various policies.
– Social development is a concept that expresses not only economic growth and development, but also democratic social and political changes.