Only when there is social harmony, social solidarity, and social order in a society can it survive and function well. Solidarity and social order are terms used to describe societal concord. Social harmony or togetherness does not happen by accident. Individual members of society must try and battle in order to bring it out. Only by adhering to certain established standards of behaviour or norms are members of society able to bring about social harmony or order. People’s self-seeking desires must be subdued by conformity to norms. Individual joys must take a back seat to group or communal welfare. This is something that an individual cannot perform on his or her own.
Agencies of Social Control
Create your own agency to maintain social control in your society or organisation. These agencies can enforce formal or informal control. The society has employed agencies such as law, education, physical coercion, and codes on the one hand, and folkways, mores, customs, convention, tradition, religion, and so on on the other, for this aim. The quantity and types of technologies and agencies used are determined by the degree of complexity in a society’s life. Some of these agencies’ roles will be briefly described here.
- Control by Law: In today’s culture, the law is the most powerful formal tool of social control. Only cultures with a political organisation, such as a government, have laws. The term ‘law’ has been defined in a number of different ways. J.S. “Laws are a type of social rule emerging from political agencies,” according to Roucek. “Law is an authoritative standard of value laid down by the force of politically organised society,” writes Roscoe Pound.
- The main characteristics of law are:
• Laws are the general conditions of human behaviour that the state imposes on its citizens.
• Law is only called law if it is enacted by a legitimate legislative body. It is the result of purposeful efforts, meticulous preparation, and conscious thought.
• Law is exact, explicit, and definite.
• In the same conditions, the law applies to everyone without exception.
• When a law is broken, the state’s power determines the consequences and punishments.
• Laws are not the product of the voluntary assent of those who are subjected to them.
- Control by Education: Education can be defined as a process by which a group’s social heritage is passed down from generation to generation. Every encounter, no matter how minor or significant, permanently alters one’s thoughts, feelings, or actions. Education is much more than just passing on a way of life. In current times, it is primarily concerned with the dissemination of empirical knowledge. Individuals must now be prepared for a changing rather than a stagnant world. Formal education has been transmitting concepts and values that play a role in behaviour regulation. Science and technology are the foundations of a logical approach to nature and social existence in modern society. The modern world’s entire rationalisation is linked to the advancement of science. The educational system is the most important tool in this progress. Formal education can thus be considered as a sort of social control. Education has aided in the regulating of behaviour in the early stages of a child’s socialisation. From childhood until maturity, education is a critical tool for social control. Education teaches younger generations about societal norms and the consequences of breaking them. Theoretical education, which includes reading and writing, lays the intellectual groundwork, whereas practical education teaches how to put theory into practise. Social control becomes commonplace as a result of education. It transforms self-control into social control. Social control would remain only an arbitrary pressure in the absence of a well-organized educational system, and it would not survive long. As a result, education is a pre-requisite for the effective exercise of social control.
- Control by the Public Opinion: Public opinion is a powerful tool for social control. It can be defined as the majority of a group’s members’ collective opinion. It is extremely important, particularly in democratic nations. It is possible to learn about people’s wants, thoughts, beliefs, and values through polling the public. It has an impact on people’s social behaviour. People’s behaviour is influenced by public opinion, which reflects ideas, attitudes, and wants.
- Control by Propaganda: Propaganda is a term that refers to methods of influencing human behaviour through the manipulation of representations. It’s a technique for persuading others to do something you want. People’s beliefs, philosophy, attitude, and behaviour can all be influenced by propaganda. It can also be used to replace old practises and beliefs with new ones. Propaganda can have both beneficial and negative consequences. Governmental departments such as the medical department, the planning department, the cooperative department, the customs department, and the income tax department, among others, provide propaganda to assist people in changing their ways and developing proper habits, practises, and approaches. Every government has a department tasked with persuading citizens to follow accepted patterns. This department is known as the “public relations” or “publicity” department. Both democratic and totalitarian regimes rely heavily on propaganda. In democratic countries, propaganda is mostly employed to persuade people to embrace or reject certain viewpoints, or to adopt new behaviours or abandon existing ones. In totalitarian regimes, however, it is mostly utilised by the government to restrict public opinion or persuade people to think what the government wants them to believe. This is accomplished through the employment of mass communication media. Propaganda is neither good nor bad in and of itself. It all depends on what you’re using it for.
- Control by Coercion: One type of social control is coercion, which involves the use of physical force. The use of physical force to interrupt or control a job or action is known as coercion. People are considered to be under coercion when they are prevented from executing a particular task or when some constraints are purposefully imposed on their range of options through the use of force or the threat of its repercussions.
Coercion is a form of extreme violence. The state is the only entity with the authority to utilise coercion in social control. This power is not vested in any other organisation. In order to control anti-social attitudes and behaviours, the state must resort to compulsion. There would be no security for social life otherwise. The principal purpose of force is to maintain political and social order.
Coercion or force is required as a guarantee of political laws, according to human experience. Its service is optimal when it is used as little as possible. There is some level of compulsion when a common rule is deemed necessary or useful for the common benefit. As a result, force is required to uphold the common rule.
- Control by Religion: Religion regulates people’s behaviour in its own unique way. Through religious law, it guides human behaviour. Spirits, ghosts, taboos, souls, divine commandments, sermons, and other concepts govern human behaviour and enforce discipline. The concepts of hell and paradise have a significant impact on people’s behaviour. It is extremely useful for disciplinary purposes.
As a religious being, man seeks to adapt, control, or rectify his behaviour in order to secure the divine’s benefits. He is scared of disobeying the divine will or breaking the holy law. Religion has a “supra-social sanction” to enforce religious observance. Religion necessitates complete submission to the divine force or power. Religion also serves as a social control mechanism in another way. Religion preserves life’s norms and values. Values are defined and redefined by religion. Religion greatly supports moral, spiritual, and social values.
Individuals who breach religious code or norms are dealt with in their own way by religion. Religion also helps to regulate and humble the disobedient through various religious agencies such as temples, churches, mutts, and monasteries. Religion has its own methods for reintegrating recalcitrant members of society into the social community. Religious punishments are also frequently employed to reinforce ethical rules and moral practises.
- Control by Morality: Morality is a closely related institution to religion. The notion of goodness and evil is central to morality. “That body of laws and principles concerned with good and evil as manifested to us by conscience,” it says. Morality is always useful in distinguishing between right and wrong, good and terrible. As a result, morality serves as a guide for human behaviour. Internal pressure forces people to follow moral principles. This is the pressure that comes from one’s conscience. In the case of religion, however, man obeys religious rules out of fear of God. In terms of morality, man is more scared of society than he is of God.
The techniques in which a society strives to prevent and discipline behaviour that breaches norms are referred to as social control. In sociology, it is a fundamental notion. Everyone expects us to act in a specific way. It covers everything from how to eat to respecting our elders to driving on the left side of the road and abiding by local rules. The primary concept behind adhering to particular desired regulations is to enable collective social life. Since social living necessitates the sacrifice of individual interests, community life is only viable in the context of social limitations.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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