The Elements of Social Development: The Social Experiences of Malaysian College Students at an Institution of Higher Learning

  •  Kuwi Hoi New    
  •  Mohamed Najib Abdul Ghafar    


This article examines the process of social development experienced by college students that brings new knowledge and a model for social development in sociology of higher education. Findings from 15 in-depth field interviews reveal that there are four main elements in the social development experienced by this group of students. The process begins with the self-awareness by students of their social condition both in past and present situations. The second element is their adaptability, where students come to understand how to interact within their circumstances and are able to find new ways to adapt to their environment. This is followed by the third element, responsibility, where students become responsible to the degree that they possess leadership abilities; thoughtfulness, independence, supportiveness and determination. The last element is potentiality, which is important in helping students progress to a higher stage of life by actualizing their full potential.

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