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Formal and Informal Social Control Mechanisms Different societies have their different forms of social control. Social control is, therefore, part of the socialisation process in different societies. When growing up, individuals have knowledge about different forms of social control in their communities…
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Download file to see previous pages Social control can therefore be defined as "the techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behaviour in any society" (Schaefer 158). There are different strategies through which this is ensured, which can be either social strategies or political strategies. Nonetheless, social control is in two major forms, namely the formal social control and the informal social control. These are used "to encourage conformity and obedience-and to discourage violation of social norms" (Schaefer 160). Although formal social control and the informal social control help maintain social order and adherence to rules and laws in society, there are various factors, which differentiate between these two forms of social control. The first difference between these two forms of social control lies in their mode of implementation. Formal social control is implemented by a higher authority compared to informal social control. The police, military officers, employers, among other authorized agents are responsible for implementing formal social control. Formal social control is also resorted to as a last option when informal social control fails. ...
For instance, all the individuals in society will be expected to adhere to the laws that are concerned with theft. While some laws might apply to all the members of a society, others will apply only to a group of people in the society. Laws concerned with murder, theft, incitement, impersonation, among others, will apply to all people, as everyone is capable of such deviant behaviours. However, laws regarding poaching, illegal fishing, and mining, among others, are only applicable to the specific individuals who are capable of indulging in such activities. Additionally, different countries have corporate laws. These do not also apply to the whole population, but only to the concerned institutions in the country. Therefore, not all formal control is always directed to all individuals in society, but is diverse, and might apply to specific individuals, and also to the whole population (Parsons 169). Another difference between formal and informal control lies in the ways in which these are conducted. For formal social control, it is the government of the specific country, which ensures that formal law takes effect. In addition, organizations, which are concerned with law, are also responsible for ensuring formal social control, through development of law enforcement mechanisms. Law enforcement mechanisms differ from country to country. However, in most countries, these are in the form of sanctions. Sanctions also vary from country to country, depending on the nature of deviant behaviour. Sanctions comprise imprisonment, fines, among others. Social control in a country is a process, as there are procedures or steps to be undertaken in order to attain control. In the case of formal control, this is also a process, which most ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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