Social control is a special mechanism for maintaining public order through the use of power and includes such concepts as social norms, sanctions, power.
Social norms - prescriptions, requirements, wishes and expectations of appropriate (socially approved) behavior. Social regulations - prohibition or permission to do anything, addressed to an individual or group and expressed in any form (oral or written, formal or informal).
Sanctions are not only punishments, but also encouragement that promote the observance of social norms. Along with values, they are responsible for people’s tending to comply with norms. Norms are protected from two sides - from the side of the values and from sanctions. Social sanctions are branched system of remuneration for the implementation of norms, that is, for conformism, for agreeing with them, and for punishing them for deviating from them, that is, for deviance. There are four types of sanctions: positive and negative, formal and informal.
Formal positive sanctions are public approval by the organization.
Informal positive sanctions are public approval emanating from unofficial persons (praise).
Similarly, there are formal and informal negative sanctions.
Social control is divided into external and internal. External is a set of institutions and mechanisms that ensure compliance with generally accepted norms and laws. In case of internal social control (self-control) individual controls his behavior, coordinating it with existing norms (conscience, self-consciousness). There are agents and institutions of social control. Agents are persons who are specially trained and receive salaries for performing supervisory functions (police, social workers, etc.). Among institutions are the court, army, education, labor collective, media, political parties, government. Thus, norms and sanctions are interrelated and enter into the system of social control.
From the point of view of professional system, control is of great importance, because the profession and position decide what the individual can and can not do on an off-production life: what voluntary associations will take him into his members, what will be his circle of acquaintances, in what area he can afford to live.
Besides the profession, the individual is also involved in other social relationships which have their own control systems, many of which are more formal, and some even more rigid than professional ones. The rules of admission and membership in many clubs and frateries are just as tough as the rules for selecting a management tool for IBM.
The social environment is also an independent system of social control. It includes distant and intimate, unfamiliar and familiar people. The environment makes its demands on man, unwritten laws which cover a wide range of phenomena. They can include the manner of dressing and talking, aesthetic tastes, political and religious beliefs and even the manner of acting at the table. In all these cases, they constitute control circles that effectively describe the scope of the individual's possible actions in certain situations.
The last and closest circle to an individual is a group of people in which the so-called private life of an individual passes, i.e., circle of family and personal friends, which also forms a control system. The social or, to put it more precisely, the normative pressure on the individual does not weaken here. On the contrary, there is every reason to suppose that it is growing. It is in this circle that the individual establishes the most important social ties. Disapproval, loss of respect, mockery or contempt in the circle of loved ones have a much greater psychological weight than the same sanctions that come from strangers or strangers.