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Agents of Social Control Cheat Sheet by

Agents of Social Control
social     control     direct     sociology     agents     ideological

Introd­uction: Ideolo­gical Social Control

Social control is the pattern, sugges­tions, persua­sion, restraint and coercion by whatever means including physical force by which a society brings into conformity to the approved pattern of behavior

Social control is the way the entire social order coheres and maintains itself.

Soci­ali­zat­ion
Lifelong process by which people acquire cultural competency and knowledge about the “rules” of a social organi­zation.

Agents of Ideolo­gical Social Control

Family
Bears the primary respon­sib­ility for teaching us the attitudes, values, and behavior considered approp­riate by our parents (our society). They are respon­sible for our develo­pment of the self.

The self is the part of us that acts with self awareness, exercises self control, exhibits a conscious and guilt, and makes decisions about who we are, what we’ve been and who we hope to be.

Educ­ation
The school teaches the behavioral standards of the community through speech, dress, and demeanor. Schools indoct­rinate their pupils in the correct attitudes about work, respect for authority, and patrio­tism.

Reli­gion
Religious groups provide guidelines for the behavior of members and punishment for disobe­dience. It reinforces the status quo by teaching that people should accept an imperfect society (poverty, racism, and war) because they are born sinners. The downtr­odden are advised to accept their lot because they will be rewarded in the next life.” (p. 140)

Sports
"­Ath­letics contains within itself--in its rules, proced­ures, training, and sentim­ents--a paradigm of adult expect­ations regarding youth" (Matza, 1964:207). Sports also reinforce US values among partic­ipants.

Media
“Films and television programs promote images and ideologies that support imperi­alism, capita­lism, racism, sexism, milita­rism, author­itarian violence, vigila­ntism, and anti-w­orking class antago­nism” (Parenti 1992).

Gove­rnm­ent
Government ideolo­gical control occurs in political speeches, books, and legisl­ation. One government effort is to convince the public that capitalism is good and socialism is bad.
 

Social Control

Agents of Direct Social Control

The attempts to punish or neutra­liz­e--­render powerl­ess­--o­rga­niz­ations or indivi­duals who deviate from society's norms.

Social Welfare
"The function of social welfare is to diffuse social unrest through direct government interv­ent­ion­" (p. 145).

Scie­nce
Science and medicine have devised a number of techniques for shaping and contro­lling the behavior of non-co­nfo­rmists.

Gove­rnm­ent
The govern­ment, as a legitimate holder of power in society, is directly involved in control of its residents. This includes protection of their lives and property. It requires that order be maintained within the society. There is a clear mandate for the government to apprehend and punish criminals.

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