stages of development

stages of development

specific economic, cultural, social or political forms which societies are thought to have to pass through to achieve a given destination. The concept is commonly used in evolutionary and neoevolutionary approaches to SOCIAL CHANGE. In understanding economic change ROSTOW's approach rests upon the delineation of stages. The whole concept has been much criticized because:
  1. stages are difficult to identify, and there are as many different classifications of stages as there are authors;
  2. it tends to be associated with mechanistic and deterministic approaches to social change;
  3. European history is generally used to construct various stages which are then seen as necessary for other societies to pass through (see MODERNIZATION);
  4. diffusion from one society to another will affect stages in differing societies;
  5. it is difficult to show that any one stage is a necessary prerequisite for the next (see UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT).

    There is, however, some validity in the argument that there are very general stages which societies have to pass through, for example that an AGRARIAN SOCIETY has to exist before there can be an INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY, but there can be various forms contained within those categories. The history of the 20th-century in particular has shown that there are a variety of forms of agrarian society which experience transformations to industrial societies in a variety of ways. The fact that the variations seem to be finite does not necessarily justify the strong use of the concept of stages of development. See also INDUSTRIALIZATION. EVOLUTIONARY UNIVERSALS.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in classic literature ?
If an egg survives it goes through all the stages of development that man has passed through during the unthinkable eons since life first moved upon the earth's face.
The proletariat goes through various stages of development. With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie.
As I had been scrutinizing this weird monstrosity the balance of the herd had fed quite close to me and I now saw that while many had the smaller specimens dangling from them, not all were thus equipped, and I further noted that the little ones varied in size from what appeared to be but tiny unopened buds an inch in diameter through various stages of development to the full-fledged and perfectly formed creature of ten to twelve inches in length.
(We observe the same thing in children to-day, whose usage in this particular is a striking and beautiful instance of the law that the infancy of individuals reproduces the methods and stages of development characterizing the infancy of races.) In the work of these primitive scribes all the punctuation is found, by the modern investigator with his optical instruments and chemical tests, to have been inserted by the writers' ingenious and serviceable collaborator, the common house-fly -- Musca maledicta .
That's so for all stages of development and classes of society.
In fact, from the origin of things down to the fifteenth century of the Christian era, inclusive, architecture is the great book of humanity, the principal expression of man in his different stages of development, either as a force or as an intelligence.
Everything is yet in the early stages of development; but with the science of the outer-world twentieth century to draw upon we are making rapid progress, and with all the faults and errors of the outer world to guide us clear of dangers, I think that it will not be long before Pellucidar will become as nearly a Utopia as one may expect to find this side of heaven.
Kevin Barber, vice president, Regulatory Strategy and Submissions, who brings more than 20 years of experience in regulatory affairs and product development across all stages of development.
This memory reminds me of why it is so important to protect preborn children at the earliest stages of development. They are no less worthy of respect, just because they are small.
Summary: Washington D.C [U.S.A.], September 29 (ANI): The Disney Channel is in the early stages of development of the remake of 1993 Halloween film 'Hocus Pocus' into a TV movie.
Kevin Duffy, KCH Dubai's construction manager, told Construction Week that KCH Healthcare intends to build two additional GCC projects outside of the Emirates, both of which are in the early stages of development.