“Social Engineering: Planned social change and social development; the idea that governments can shape and manage key features of society, in much the same way as the economy is managed, assuming that adequate information on spontaneous trends is available through social indicators and social trends reports. For example, the extent of women’s employment is clearly determined in part by government policy to promote or impede women’s paid work.”
Excerpted from: Marshall, Gordon, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.