According to Mannheim, social control is the sum of those methods by which a society tries to influence human behavior to maintain a given order.
Any society must have harmony and order. Where there is no harmony or order the society actually does not exist because society is a harmonious organization of human relationships. Unless the individuals live up to the prescribed norms of conduct and unless their self-seeking impulses are subjugated to the welfare of the whole it would be quite difficult to maintain effectively the social organization.
Society in order to exist and progress has to exercise a certain control over its members since any marked deviation from the established ways is considered a threat to its welfare. Such control has been termed by sociologists as social control.
Social control has been defined by Maclver as the way in which entire social order coheres and maintains itself- how it operates as a whole as a changing equilibrium. To Ogburn and Nimkoff the patterns of pressure that a society exerts to maintain order and established rules is social control. According to Gillin and Gillin social control is that system of measures, suggestions, persuasions, restraint and coercion by whatever means including physical force by which a society brings into conformity to the approved pattern of behavior or subgroup or by which a group molds into conformity its members.