Social Control as an Important aspect of Sociology!
The study of social control is an important aspect of sociology; rather every academic social discipline in one way or the other considers it. It is a significant field of study. It is a unifying factor in the study of human behaviour. According to Kimball Young the aims of social control are “to bring about conformity, solidarity and continuity of a particular group or society”. These aims are good but most individuals who endeavour to control their fellowmen show little perspective in their efforts.
They want that others should accept the modes of conduct which they themselves prefer. This preference may be based on any factor—training received in childhood, experience derived in life, desire to exploit others for one’s own gain, political, personal or economic. Some reformers and leaders try to conceal their motives by “good reasons” in the form of altruistic rationalization.
A newspaper advertisement that ten per cent rebate on goods will be allowed to those who make purchases by a particular date is an example of such rationalizations. As a matter of fact, it is difficult to know and classify the motives of the agents of social control, for example, it difficult to understand the motives of parents who endeavour to aim their children in outmoded patterns of conduct.
It may be ether because of unfamiliarity of the new patterns of conduct; or may be because they think that what proved good to them will also prove good to their children or they may be acting primarily on habit or distrust of the new modes. Likewise, it is difficult to ascertain the motives of a teacher who makes an attack upon the prevailing folkways and life-values.
Thus, classification of the motives or purposes of the agents i” social control is not easy. However, these purposes may be thoroughly classified as (i) exploitative, motivated by self-interest, (ii) regulative, based upon habit, and the desire for behaviour of the customary types: and (iii) creative or constructive, based upon social benefit. The results of social control are not always beneficial to society or to the individual.
Exploitation is clearly injurious to many. Even social control for constructive purposes lay confuses the public and end in inactivity. Efforts to regulate behaviour in accordance to custom may cause cultural lag, mental conflict, emotional instability and even psychosis. The established forms may be too restrictive for the creative and too conservative) or the adventurous individual.