Definition of social engineering in English:

social engineering


  • 1The use of centralized planning in an attempt to manage social change and regulate the future development and behaviour of a society:

    ‘the country's unique blend of open economics, authoritarian politics, and social engineering’
    • ‘In the gospels of social engineering this transformation was leading to a future Utopia of welfare capitalism.’
    • ‘Why then, since we all accept that education is, in many ways, a form of social engineering, are manners not part of the school curriculum?’
    • ‘Child labour can be eradicated only by social engineering on a major scale combined with national economic growth.’
    • ‘To force a social mix via drastic social engineering - bussing was one example - is not politically feasible.’
    • ‘People are sick and tired of social engineering, because it is all about trying to control the way they think and the way they lead their lives.’
    • ‘Meaningful integration has always been a result of persistent social engineering.’
    • ‘This is called social engineering: a group of bureaucrats deciding what is best for the economy.’
    • ‘We have a bill that will introduce this Government's agenda of social engineering.’
    • ‘They were relying on social engineering to create and enforce the rules.’
    • ‘From their privileged position as experts, they have attempted social engineering through their work.’
    • ‘One would hope that the lessons had been learnt from these experiments in social engineering and urban redesign, but the signs are not good.’
    • ‘It stands at the cutting edge of science, social engineering and politics, where the future is predicted before it happens.’
    • ‘Academics have attacked the plans as making social engineering part of the admissions process rather than pure academic merit.’
    • ‘Social engineering got a bad name in the 1980s, but all politics and most public health is social engineering.’
  • 2(in the context of information security) the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes:

    ‘people with an online account should watch for phishing attacks and other forms of social engineering’
    [as modifier] ‘he's seen everything from the most devious hacks to the simplest social engineering scams’


social engineering