3. Definition Social control is the pattern means including physical force by which a society brings into conformity to the approved pattern of behavior. Social control is the way in which entire social order coheres and maintains itself. Ogbum and Nimkoff are of the opinion that “Social control is the pattern of pressure which society exerts to maintain order and establish rules.”
4. Nature of Social Control Following are the main characteristics of social control: Social control is the control of society over individuals. Social control denotes some kind of influence. This influence may be exercised in various ways by means of public opinion, coercion, religion, leadership etc. The influence of social control is essentially exerted by the society or community.
5. Nature of Social Control The influence of social control is exercised for promoting the welfare of all the individuals or the group as a whole. Social control is as old as human society. It is an essential condition of the human society. The influence of social control is universal. Where there is society, there is social control. Social control is exercised through both formal and informal agencies
6. Need of Social Control Social control is necessary for an orderly social life. . Without social control the organization of the society is about to get disturbed. According to Kimball Young, it is necessary “to bring about conformity, solidarity and continuity of a particular group or society”. It is possible only through social control. Society has to make use of its mechanism to accomplish the necessary order and discipline.
7. Need of Social Control Herbert Spencer has put forwarded the view that society is a collection of group of individuals. Man lives in society because it has a utility. Through society he is able to preserve his identity and views. In order to preserve his identity and characteristics, he has to exercise some control for which certain rules and institutions are created. These agencies of social control are helpful for preserving the identity of the individuals and society.
8. Mechanisms of Social Control Social control is the control exercised by the society over its members. There are many people in society who always conform to the social norms and values and they are known as conformists. But few people who always deviate from the existing norms and values. They are known as nonconformists or deviants. Social control mechanisms are means by which society can influence people’s behavior to conform to expectations.
9. Social Control Theory Social control theory was developed by Travis Hirschi in 1969. It is also known as the Social Bond Theory. Hirschi refers to four elements which constitute the societal bond. These bonds include: • Attachment — to other individuals • Commitment — to following rules • Involvement — by typical social behaviors • Belief — a basic value system When one of these four items break down, Hirschi hypothesizes that an individual may then participate in criminal activities
10. Social Control Theory Social control theory describes internal means of social control. Social control theory has become one of the more widely accepted explanations in the field of criminology in its attempt to account for rates in crime and deviant behavior. Unlike theories that seek to explain why people engage in deviant behavior, social control theories approach deviancy from a different direction. The theory seeks to explain how the normative systems of rules and obligations in a given society serve to maintain a strong sense of social cohesion, order and conformity to widely accepted and established norms.
12. Formal social control The formal means of social control come from institutions. Man is forced to accept these forms of social control Generally these forms are exercised by secondary groups. The state, law, education and those which have legitimate power. They apply coercive measures in the case of deviance.
13. Informal social control These agencies of Social Control have grown according to the needs of the society. Folk ways, mores, customs, social norms etc. fall under this category of social control. Generally primary institutions exercise this type of social control.
14. Agencies of Social Control There are following agencies of social control Law State Education Folkways Mores Administration Religions Family Neighborhood Public Opinion
15. Law Law is a powerful method of control. The state runs its administration through the government. In primitive societies, the groups followed similar occupations and individuals shared a direct and personal relation among themselves. These folkways, mores and customs sufficed in controlling the individual behavior. There was almost unquestioned compliance with the formal mechanism of social control. In short, law is an important formal means of Control to regulate the individual behaviour in society
16. State State has a vital role in administering social control. State functions through the government. Modern nation-states strive to be welfare states, i.e. they seek to provide to the citizens a wide range of social services like education and medical care. In modern societies, State has become increasingly important as an agent of social control.
17. Education Education in modern times is a very powerful means of social control. It prepares the child for social living and teaches him the values of discipline, cooperation, tolerance and integration. Educational institutions at all levels(i.e. school, college, university, etc.) impart knowledge as well as ethics through formal structured courses and behavioral inputs. The child learns many things from the Education institutions, which he cannot learn from other sources. It is education, which makes all efforts to discipline the mind of the student in the school so that he can realize the importance of social control.
18. Folkways Folkways are norms to which individuals conform. It is customary to do so. Conformity to folkways is not enforced by law or any other agency of the society. It is the informal acceptance of established practices in each group or society. Folkways are manifested in matters of dress, food habits, observance of rituals, forms of worship and methods of greeting etc.
19. Mores ‘Mores’ represent another category of norms. Mores are considered to be essential for group welfare. Mores seek to regulate the relationship between individuals in defined situations, viz. between wife and husband, parents and children, student and teacher, etc. They may also refer to general social relationships in terms of honesty, truthfulness, hard work and discipline, etc The positive mores prescribe behavior patterns while the negative mores or taboos prescribe or prohibit behavior patterns.
20. Religion Religion serves as an important agency of social control. It is religion, which supports the folkways and modes of a society by playing super natural sanctions behind them. It adopts negative as well as positive means to regulate the behavior of the individuals in society.
21. Administration Administration is very powerful and the most effective instrument of social control. It forces the individual to obey social control. The administrations punish the violators with the help of the police, the army etc
22. Family Family is a very important instrument agency of social control. Family prescribes rules and regulations that the members have to follow. These rules and regulations form a part of social control. The family socializes the child into the norms, values, traditions and customs of the group. Thus, family has predominant role in the shaping of the personality of the child. Family teaches the child to conform to the norms of the society. It exercises control over its members to bring about the desired action.
23. Neighborhood Neighbourhood is a simple and specific part of a community. It has a feeling or sentiment of local unit. There may be more than one Neighbourhood in a community. The neighbourhood is the first community with which the individual comes into contact with. It exists, a deep influence on its members as an agency of social control.
24. Public Opinion Public Opinion of the people is the most important method of social control in a democratic set up. Every man tries to escape from the criticism and condemnation by the society. He therefore, tries to act according to public opinion and public sentiments. In a democratic set up, public opinion is more effective and important than any other agency. Newspapers, radio, television, motion pictures, legislations, pamphlets, etc. mould public opinion.
25. Conclusion In conclusion, Social control creates some conditions by which human beings are socialized and prevented from indulging in antisocial activities. So social control is called by sociologists as social control.