economic and social development
economic and social developmentany change which results in increased economic productivity and prosperity, and new and more complex forms of SOCIAL STRUCTURE and organization. The study of such development was a central concern of classical sociological theory (see EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, SOCIAL CHANGE). In contemporary work, ‘economic and social development’ is usually used to refer to the specific process of industrialization in both its socialist and capitalist forms (compare ECONOMIC GROWTH). Although Barrington Moore's (1967) comparative and historical study continues to be influential, and new studies of changes in the developed capitalist world have attracted attention (See CONVERGENCE, POSTCAPITALIST SOCIETY, FORDISM AND POSTFORDISM, POSTINDUSTRIAL SOCIETY), much theoretical work is now devoted to current issues and problems of development in the THIRD WORLD. See also DEPENDENCY THEORY, DEPENDENT INDUSTRIALIZATION, NEOEVOLUTIONISM, UNDERDEVELOPMENT, UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT, MODERNIZATION.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000