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Meaning of Social Control

Social control has been defined by Maclver as the way in which entire social order coheres and maintains itself –how it operates itself as a whole as a changing equilibrium.

Mannheim defines social control as the sum of those methods by which a society tries to influence human behavior to maintain a given order. To Ogbuand an established rule is social control.

Ogburn and Nimkoff the patterns of pressure which a society exerts to maintain order E Ross defines it the system of devices whereby society brings its members into conformity with the accepted standards of behavior.

According to Lapiere social control is a corrective for inadequate socialization.

G.A Lundberg has defined social control as designating those social behaviors which influ-ence individuals or groups towards conformity to established or desired norms.

Kimball Young defines social control as the use of coercion, force, restraint, suggestion or persuasion of one group over another or of a group over its members or of persons over others to enforce the prescribed rules of the game. These rules may be set down by the members themselves as in a professional code of ethics or they may be those laid down by a larger, more inclusive group for the regulation of other smaller groups.

Social control may thus be defined as:
Social control is an influence where influence may be exerted through public opinion, coer-cion, social suggestion, religion or any other method. The influence is exerted by the society which means that group is better able to exercise in-fluence over the individual than a single individual. This group may be the family, the church, the state or the trade union etc.The effectiveness of the influence however depends on variable factors. Sometimes family may exercise more effective influence than the state or vice-versa.

The influence is exercised for promoting the welfare of the group as a whole. The person is influenced to act in the interest of others rather than in accordance with his own individual interests. Social control is exercised for some specific end in view. The aim is always the wel-fare of the whole. The individual is made conscious of other's existence; their interests. He is made to adhere to the appropriate social ways.

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