Social Control: Every society devises its own standard of bevaviour and exercise upon individuals and groups to maintain order and conformity with the accepted standards of behaviour. It is the controlling and constraining force that brings Social harmony and maintains solidarity in the society. In order to exist and progress a society has to exercise a certain control over its members since any marked deviation from the established ways is considered a threat to its well being.
Social control refers to the social mechanisms that regulate individual and group behaviour, in terms of greater sanctions and rewards. There is a use of coercion, force, restraint, suggestion, persuasion of a group over another or of a group over its members to enforce the prescribed social rules. That is the society exerts influence, pressure upon its members for the purpose of providing the welfare of the group as a whole. Non-conformity is a deviant behaviour. Informal social control such as customs, ways, religion and formal social control such as law, education, coercion are used to maintain the social order and equilibrium.
Different societies exercise social control according to their need and social situation. A primitive tribe may use magic or religious practices to control its members. A peasant society generally use customs, traditions, folkways and mores to regulate social behaviour. The modern urban industrial society uses mass media, socialisation and law as the effective means of social control. Social control is classified into formal and informal type on the basis of the means they employ.
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