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Conformity is action that is oriented to a social norm and falls within the band of behavior permitted by the norm. Conformity does not fall within the range of permitted behavior. The society is a harmonious organization of human relationships. Unless the people live up to the expected norms of behavior the social organization may not be effectively maintained. But people often do not live up to the expected behavioral norms and violate them. The reasons for violations of moral norms may be several. Violations may occur because two norms are contradictory. Often one satisfies one's desire through modes not socially approved. The society is thus faced by continuous non-compliance of its norms by members that may threaten its solidarity. Therefore to enforce norms the society takes recourse to sanctions.

Sanctions are thus the means of controlling human behavior. They may take the form of both rewards and punishments. Sanctions are understood to mean punishments or deprivations but they refer to rewards, gratifications and punishments or deprivations. They are used to persuade or force an individual or group to conform to social expectation. A sanction is a means of enforcing a rule of law and may be positive or negative that is it may take the form of reward or a punishment. As applied to a group or society it reflects the use of the term in conjunction with discussion of social order and control for it has been sociological practice. The basic purposes of sanctions are to bring about conformity, solidarity and continuity in a particular group, community or larger group.

Sanctions make possible the prediction of behavior. It need not be emphasized that to ensure an established and peaceful order people should know what to expect from others and what others will do. Through regulation of behavior it can be seen what an individual will do or what his punishment will be if he fails to act.