Talk:Social control

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Formal vs. informal rules[edit]

Tom Rushton, You added the following sentence: "These are usually enforced more regularly than informal social control and those that do not abide by these guidelines are usually punished directly". This does not strike me intuitively as a true statement and I wonder what authority you might find for it. It is a commonplace that formal rules are often ignored while informal rules are defined by their inforcement, i.e. an uninforced formal rule simply doesn't exist. Fred Bauder 11:28, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)


There are two links on this page. One is not available and ultimately leads to a rather amateurish homepage. The other is available but contains no valuable content (for an encycl.) at all. Remove both?

Bias? Personal opinion?[edit]

This article is bursting to the seam with POV. It's mostly speculation, opinion, and conspiratorial. Someone neutralize this thing because this article's just got too much color for its own good.--NeantHumain 06:22, 24 March 2006 (UTC)


Ha Ha. Neanthuman, from looking at your profile, I would hazard that you yourself are the best evidence of what this article is talking about. I mean, jeez, you are a young, well educated, malleable, groupthink, rightwing democrat, pseudoLiberal, twentysomething. Egads, you are what destroyed the promise of the Internet. Talk about a creature of overclass propaganda. MeatPuppetry to the max!

Well, I sure hope someone has the time to stave off your destruction of this fine article, because it is nice to see a little truth here and there in this world.


Sorry Cryofan, this page is definitely biased, and you attacking someone with your opinion of their social or political background is not going to cover that up. I have marked this page (which is certainly not a "fine article" at this point) as it obviously needs serious alteration. -- Grandpafootsoldier 21:33, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

standard sociology[edit]

This article is pretty much standard introduction to sociology material. It could use a good edit to refer to some of the other theories of power and control in society (there are many). 18:40, 11 September 2006 (UTC)Judy Perrolle

standard sociology[edit]

This article is pretty much standard introduction to sociology material. It could use a good edit to refer to some of the other theories of power and control in society (there are many.) im new to this page and i would like to ask whether the writer of this article could not include more information on the overt and covert goals of social control?

Edmund Burke[edit]

The article should have a note on Edmund Burke's thoughts on this. -- 23:08, 7 December 2006 (UTC)


Media is already plural. "Several intellectual figures such as Noam Chomsky have argued on the existence of systematic bias in modern medias." And shouldn't it be "reasoned about..."? Argued on? --Christofurio 18:03, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

No mention of religion[edit]

Nice article but I am suprised that there is no mention of the first, best and most popular form of social control - religion. Waffle247 10:00, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

You summed that up rather nicely! However, we can't include that information in the article because of what would happen if everyone found out what religion is REALLY about. Seriously though, there should be a giant wikipedia article devoted to this issue. Afterall, people tend to forget that this was one of the major reasons that the USA even exists today instead of being a possession or part of the U.K. [1] --Wisepiglet 11:51, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Erm.. yes well as I'm English I'll just say that I'm quite happy the USA isn't related to the UK anymore too. Waffle247 (talk) 15:07, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

No mention of 1984[edit]

Sorry, but said book is probably the most influential work ever to be written on this topic. Mention it. ( (talk) 21:18, 24 February 2008 (UTC))

Neutrality check[edit]

I've had a look at this from the point of view of the article's sociological content. I've also read the comments above about bias. We need to remember that the subject is "social control." A question to be asked is: "if a society or agency is going to control people how can it do that?" The article illustrates some of the mechanisms of social control. Although not complete, it is a pretty fair intro to the field of social control. Edits since the tag was placed have removed the POV statements. I'm going to take the neutrality tag off the article. I will start adding sources. That should further improve the article and make its neutrality more transparent. Sunray 02:37, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as stub, and the rating on other projects was brought up to Stub class. BetacommandBot 04:27, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Do u think church and school are a institute of social control and why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Weight and Neutrality Issues at End[edit]

The article's end gives undue weight to marginalization and violates neutrality by expounding a pro-left POV thereabout: what should we do to balance its weight and neutralize its point-of-view?

Duxwing (talk) 04:01, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

@Duxwing: I think that the "Informal social control" section is incredibly poorly written. It doesn't adequately define the term and seems to give far too much weight to abuses of state power. I'm not sure what you mean by "pro-left POV." Perhaps you could elaborate on that. It seems to be from an anti-state POV and leaves out a great deal. There are a couple of ways to approach this. One approach might be to be bold and make some additions and changes. Another might be to list some of the problems here and collaborate on making changes. Thoughts? Sunray (talk) 21:07, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
Writing "pro-left POV," I was trying to concisely describe my perception that the article, like leftists, sympathizes with homeless people. Whatever the article's leaning happens to be, I agree we should neutralize it. The problems we have noticed, including yours:
  • POV
    • Anti-state
    • Pro-homeless
  • Too short

Anything else? Also, thanks for coming. :)

Duxwing (talk) 00:39, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

I like your comments. NPOV is crucial. Homelessness is a good example of different approaches to social control taken by various jurisdictions. Up until the 1980s people whose behaviour was "deviant" or "abnormal" were placed in institutions. The de-institutionalization (initially of mental hospitals, later of various other kinds of institutions, except prisons) that began in the 1980s, created major changes in the urban landscape, as did the trends to privatization of public services and constraints on government spending on social services. Homelessness is, in part, a spin off from these changes. It could be used as an example, but it is only one of many phenomena that is influenced by formal social control policies. Social control is highly complex. We need to look for some good general sources. Sunray (talk) 18:11, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
I think you suggested "good general sources" because you, like me, wanted more-diverse examples of social control: am I right? If we will get these sources, then where can we get them?
PS - Sorry for not having replied sooner! Duxwing (talk) 16:20, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

material moved from article on 01.11.2015[edit]

THIS MATERIAL IS WHOLLY UNREFERENCED (material was added by User: Fencingchamp) [Not by Fencingchamp; see reply below re: misread history.]

and was removed because it is not directly relevant to the subject of the article, and has no place in the introduction (I'm sure).

Sociologists who study deviance and crime examine cultural norms, how they change over time, how they are enforced, and what happens to individuals and societies when norms are broken. Deviance and social norms vary among societies, communities, and times, and often sociologists are interested in why these differences exist and how these differences impact the individuals and groups in those areas.

Sociologist define deviance as behavior that is recognized as violating expected rules and norms. It is not simply more than nonconformity, however; it is behavior that departs significantly from social expectations. In the sociological perspective on deviance, there is subtlety that distinguishes it from our commonsense understanding of the same behavior. Sociologists stress social context, not just individual behavior. That is, deviance is looked at in terms of group processes, definitions, and judgments and not just as unusual individual acts. Sociologists also recognize that not all behaviors are judged similarly by all groups. What is deviant to one group may not be considered deviant to another. Further, sociologists recognize that established rules and norms are socially created, not just morally decided or individually imposed. That is, deviance lies not just in the behavior itself, but in the social responses of groups to behavior by others.

The study of deviance can be divided into the study of why people violate laws or norms and the study of how society reacts.

This reaction includes the labeling process by which deviance comes to be recognized as such. The societal reaction to deviant behavior suggests that social groups actually create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance and by applying those rules to particular people and labeling them as outsiders.

Sociologists often use their understanding of deviance to help explain otherwise ordinary events, such as tattooing or body piercing, eating disorders, or drug and alcohol use. Many of the kinds of questions asked by sociologists who study deviance deal with the social context in which behaviors are committed. For example, are there conditions under which suicide is an acceptable behavior? Would one who commits suicide in the face of a terminal illness be judged differently from a despondent person who jumps from a window? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Antrangelos (talkcontribs) 00:28, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps someone misread the history. I only added a small amount of material, not any of what's quoted above. Here's the way I rewrote the first 2 paragraphs (citations omitted), which was the entirety of my edit. (I did not remove any material.)
Social control is a concept developed within the disciplines of social science and political science, but having broad, general applicability. Social control measures are measures intended to prevent, limit, punish or stigmatize behavior considered undesirable by those imposing them.
The criminal justice system is an example of a formally constituted social control agency, but non-governmental entities ranging from Operation Rescue to Greenpeace may also engage in social control functions. Even Internet users may take informal social control measures such as "doxing" or publicly shaming perceived adversaries. Critics of psychiatry, such as the late Thomas Szasz, have pointed out that "mental health" workers also perform social control functions.
The reason I contributed these 2 paragraphs is that I felt the article suffered from why-should-I-care-syndrome. IOW, the reader would think that social control is an elite technical term having no relevance to daily life. However, in actual practice social control is frequently discussed in relation to real world issues, such as actions taken by social control agents both formal and informal. The general reader is more likely to read the entire article if he or she is intially grabbed by the concept and understands its relevance to daily life.
Looking at the current intro, it doesn't seem to pop as well, and doesn't give the reader clear, specific, highly varied examples of social control agents/agencies, which is probably the best way to introduce the subject. Fencingchamp (talk) 17:11, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Is this article about the same thing as Deleuze's "control societies"?[edit]

I redirected Control society to here, as I'm not too sure. If it is, then there should be some mention of Deleuze's writings.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 22:52, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

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