They are political or social mechanisms that keeps the society under control. These mechanisms make an individual or a group obeys the rules and norms of the society. These social control could be in the form of internalization of norms or through external sanctions that provide reward for adhering to the social behavior and punishment for disobedience. For instance, if there is a sign post prohibiting heavy vehicles on that particular road because of a hospital or a school in that area and if the driver transgresses the sign post he would be liable to pay a fine. This is an external sanction that keeps people under control. The social control theory began as a separate field of study in the 20th century. According to the sociologist, Edward .A. Ross, beliefs or values of a society exert a greater control on the people (internal norms) than the laws made by the government (external sanction).These internal norms are informal social control and they include shame, ridicule, criticism or extermination .So fear of these, make one adhere to the social norms without much protest and this becomes the personality of the individual. These internal norms prevent individuals from going astray and becoming social misfits of the society. On the contrary, formal social control through rules, regulations and law are external sanctions that are laid down to prevent people from transgressing social behavior. These are made by democratic representatives and are supported by the majority of the people for the welfare of the society. The people who deviate from the set rules are punishable by law. In order to maintain peace and harmony in the society, social control is a necessity.
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