Non-adaptive local structure of social care in developing countries Disconnection of traditional forms of social care from modern life
The local forms of social care are unable to adapt to rapidly changing needs of individuals, families and communities. The small traditional associations based on family, faith and locality are expected to communicate to individuals the principle moral means and ends; to transmit the implicit rules governing society and bestow psychological gratification for participating in the social fabric. These associations are increasingly disrelated from functional relevance to the larger economic, political and cultural decisions of the world. Individuals are left clinging to parochial and wooden structure frantically trying to create the stability of the old order or simply give up any attempt at moral, social or cultural order.
The care structures of many Third World villages sustained people in the prescientific era, but today their adequacy is being questioned as communities are influenced by the increasing complexity and mobility of modern life. However, development of new care structures is hampered by time-consuming traditional roles. Circumstances combine to trap the village children into patterns which preclude new possibilities: boys begin working in the fields or follow their father's trade without the opportunity to consider alternatives. Although the creative presence of women is needed in a great variety of groups and social activities beyond the home in order to sustain the increased complexity of modern life, village women are confined to child-bearing and home care; high infant mortality rates and traditional roles discourage both birth control and any other changes that might release women to other needed roles. Likewise, the men are forced to put in long hours of work simply to sustain the economic life of the family, and have little time or energy for broader engagement in community life. Because all members of the community work such long hours, little time is left for community concerns such as educational development, community planning, health care or physical maintenance. Although residents may be aware of the gaps in effective community care and be concerned to release members of the community to new effective modes of engagement; yet this very concern is what sustains them in their commitment to traditional means of care.
Until the communities of the Third World create structures of mutual care which call forth new levels of creative commitment of the limited time and energy of its human resources, no significant development will occur and the social needs of its residents will continue to be neglected while willing concern is untapped.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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