Types of Social Control Formal & Informal, Positive & Negative

Sat, 03/10/2012 - 05:12 -- Umar Farooq

Society makes various types of social control depending on the social situations. In primitive societies beliefs and superstitions are enough for the control. In rural areas folkways, norms, beliefs, customs and traditions are used as means social control, while in modern societies formal agencies like police, army, radio, universities, newspapers are the means.

Types of Social Control

Some of the types of social control are as follows:

1. Direct and Indirect Control

Karl Mannheim is of the view that control may be direct as well as indirect. Direct control is that, which is exercised by the primary groups like family, peer groups, who praise or condemn the behavior of an individual. Indirect control is exercised by the secondary groups like traditions, customs, institution etc. Also Read:   Research Methodology Notes

2. Positive and Negative Means

There are two types of means according to Kimble Young. One is positive means which exists in form of praise, prizes, fame and respect. Another mean is negative, which found in the shape of criticism, punishment and shames.

3. Social Control through Force and Symbol

Lumby classified social control as by force and by symbol. By force he is of the view that to exert force on individuals which through symbols. He includes praise, rewards, groups, stare, criticism and propaganda etc.

4. Conscious and Unconscious Control

Bernarol has classified it on the basis of conscious and unconscious. Conscious social control is developed in the real sense by the society (law), while unconscious is followed by the individuals but have no attention towards it and adopt unconsciously i.e. customs and traditions.  

5. Formal and Informal Control

Formal control is designed and regulated by some authority like government makes law to control order. Informal is the unwritten rules and regulation characterized by informal authority like criticism, sociability, public opinion etc. 

6. Control by Constructive and Exploitative Means

It includes education and social reforms while through exploitation means control through threats or intimidation and censorship.

7. Real and Artificial Control

Artificial social control imposes by an individual on himself without the force of society. It is also called self-control. While real control is enforced by the society on individuals and they are bound to follow these rules due to fear of punishment.