(from Goode, 2000 and 2005, chapters 1 and 3)
So: Everyone, everywhere is subjected to certain norms
But: Most norms attempt to discourage behavior that neither directly harms anyone, nor threatens the society with chaos and disintegration. They are intended to make a statement about what is considered by some, many, or most members of a society to be right, good and proper. They embody certain principles of moral correctness separate and independent of what they do for the society's physical survival. So, we are expected to do certain things because they are right and that's the way they are done
- Efforts to ensure conformity to a norm. It includes all of the processes by which people define and respond to deviant behavior.
Forms of Social Control
Internal Social Control
Agents of Socialization
So: When one accepts the norms of society as valid the norms are internalized. Thus, a person feels guilty if they engage in behavior society considers wrong.
But: Because there are always some people, usually a minority, who don't accept the legitimacy of the norms, society turns to external social control.
External Social Control
But: A great deal of social control is coercive and repressive; it relies on punishment and force.
Informal Social Control
Since: Most people seek the approval of others whom they care about, they tend to adjust their behavior to avoid the disapproval of significant others by discontinuing the offensive behavior or hiding it from public view.
But: In large, complex societies, because it becomes easy to ignore the disapproval of others, informal social control is no longer sufficient to bring about conformity to then norms.
Thus: Formal Social Control becomes necessary.
Formal Social Control
Formal Agents of Social Control
- Agents who have legitimate power to make people conform to the law.
- Formal agents occupy a specific status in bureaucratic organization. It is this position which give them the legitimacy to sanction wrongdoers for violating the formal code.
But: Formal and Informal social control can operate at the same time. i.e. A drug dealer who is arrested by the police and shunned by his neighbors.
"Semiformal" Social Control
But: It is informal social control the is exercised the most, not representatives of bureaucratic organizations.
So: Informal Social Control is the foundation of social life.
Owner: Robert O. Keel firstname.lastname@example.org
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2005 1:56 PM