Social control  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Social control is a concept within the disciplines of the social sciences.

Sociologists identify two basic forms of social control:

  1. Informal means of controlInternalization of norms and values by a process known as socialization, which is "the process by which an individual, born with behavioral potentialities of enormously wide range, is led to develop actual behavior which is confined to the narrower range of what is acceptable for him by the group standards."
  2. Formal means of social control – External sanctions enforced by government to prevent the establishment of chaos or anomie in society. Some theorists, such as Émile Durkheim, refer to this form of control as regulation.

As briefly defined above, the means to enforce social control can be either informal or formal. Sociologist Edward A. Ross argues that belief systems exert a greater control on human behavior than laws imposed by government, no matter what form the beliefs take.

Social control is considered one of the foundations of order within society.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Social control" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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