Law and Social control

Topics: Criminal justice, Sociology, Criminal law Pages: 2 (588 words) Published: October 30, 2013
Law and social control

Social control refers to the method used by members of a society to maintain order and to promote predictable behaviors. There are many different forms of social control and law is one of them.

There are two mechanism of social control

Informal social control.- Methods of informal social control is best presented by folkways ( norms of common practices like dressing, etiquette, language use). These informal controls are not exercised through oficial groups mechanism, there are no specially designated person in charge of enforcement. Gossip or criticism is one of the more effective ways to enforce a social norm. Informal mechanism of social control tend to be more effective in groups and small societies where relations are face to face.

Formal Social Control.- Arise when informal controls alone are not enough to keep certain norms. Formal controls are characterized by Systems of specialized agencies. These agencies can be the state and enforce them with laws, decrees, regulations, codes, punishments. But also the church, Business, labor groups, universities can regulate behavior. For example, an organization may fire an employee, a church can Witold religious services.

Criminal Sanctions

The social control of criminal behaviors is the example of the most highly structured formal system, which is the criminal justice system, used by society.

The laws enacted by legislators and modified by court decisions define criminal behavior and specify the sanctions imposed for violations. Over time, there has been an increasing Reliance on law to regulate the activities and lives of people, as the law has increased incorporating more types of behavior resulting in more social control as more behaviors are defined as criminall, more acts become the interest of the police, the courts, and the prison system.

The term legalization is used to describe the process by which norms moved from the social to the legal level.The...
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