Sociological Reconceptualization of Social Development: With Empirical Evidence from Surakarta City, Indonesia

Paulus Wirutomo

After more than six decades, the growth-oriented development strategy has failed to develop people’s essential well-being, social equality and better quality of socio-cultural life. United Nations called it: jobless, ruthless, rootless, voiceless, and futureless growth (UNDP, 1997). Recently, several new development approaches has been introduced, such as People-Centered Development, MDGs, Human Development, but those approaches are
proposing more for the enhancement of some “social sectors”, rather than being oriented into developing a “good society”. Herewith, in this article a more sociological conceptualization of social development is introduced by emphasizing that developing human being has to be done through developing the basic elements of social life, namely structure, culture and process of the society. The purpose of this paper is to propose and discuss the new and the more sociological concept of social development. An action research has been conducted to explore some empirical evidence of social development practices implemented in Surakarta city as an illustration.