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What Is the Definition of Social Development?

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Social development is the prioritization of human needs in a society. Social development takes place on individual levels as well as broader societal levels. The intent of social development is to improve life for all.

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What Is the Definition of Social Development?
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Full Answer

Social development is a complex and multi-faceted aspect of society that contains many parts. Like a puzzle, it's put together by pieces that in turn create a whole. Social development is the framework of norms, guidelines and standards that govern human interactions. The goal of social development is to improve the lives of citizens individually and as part of a complete society. Social development is a comprehensive social improvement strategy that seeks to make the lives better for all citizens, and there is a particular emphasis on making the lives better of people who are poor or otherwise needy.

Social Development Framework
One of the most positive aspects of social development is its ability to influence larger social institutions. This is accomplished by creating a more unified society where everyone is treated equally and has a say in what happens. In that sense, social development on a larger scale is embedded largely in democratic principles. The uniformity, collaboration and cooperation that social development creates is called social cohesion. The end goal of social cohesion is to create a more just, peaceful and fair society where there's peace and calm at all levels of the society, including various communities within a larger society. There are five pillars used to identify social development. They are intergroup cohesion, activism, clubs and associations, interpersonal safety, gender equality and civil rights. Trust is also a major components of social development, and social development cannot exist without some level of trust, respect and communication among people in a society.

Grassroots Efforts
Social development affects societies at large, but it begins on a personal or individual level. Through social development, people are nurtured from the ground up to have their voices heard within their communities and have a sense of empowerment. This is achieved at home within families, as well as schools and local organizations like clubs and community programs. Some communities receive outside assistance from programs and organizations to help achieve social development within their boundaries. This is especially true with communities of disadvantaged, marginalized and poor individuals. Some communities are also targeted for assistance based on certain segments of the population, such as women, minority groups and others. Social development is based on improving all citizens' quality of life, but it places a heavy emphasis on education and lifelong learning opportunities. Healthcare, particularly for women and children, is considered another fundamental and important component of social development.

In addition to fortifying and improving the lives of community members, social development is concerned with improving and maintaining the physical strength and resilience of communities themselves. Social development, particularly in areas prone to the devastating effects of natural disasters, also includes the act of making towns and villages less susceptible to damage and destruction from flooding, fires and major storms. This is generally accomplished with assistance from outside organizations, and sometimes with organizations and key partnerships that may even include governmental organizations.

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