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Social Control. Ensures that members of society behave in appropriate ways most of the time Ensures that members of society behave in appropriate ways.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Control. Ensures that members of society behave in appropriate ways most of the time Ensures that members of society behave in appropriate ways."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Control

2 Ensures that members of society behave in appropriate ways most of the time Ensures that members of society behave in appropriate ways most of the time Less deviation from acceptable behavior in most band societies than in more complex societies Less deviation from acceptable behavior in most band societies than in more complex societies

3 Social Norms Define normal, proper, or expected ways of behaving Define normal, proper, or expected ways of behaving Come in a variety of forms – from etiquette to formal laws Come in a variety of forms – from etiquette to formal laws Deviance from social norms is relative and culturally defined Deviance from social norms is relative and culturally defined Sanctions: patterned or institutionalized ways of encouraging people to conform to norms Sanctions: patterned or institutionalized ways of encouraging people to conform to norms Both positive and negative Both positive and negative May also be formal or informal May also be formal or informal

4 Informal Means of Social Control Socialization Socialization Public Opinion Public Opinion Corporate Lineages Corporate Lineages Supernatural Belief Systems Supernatural Belief Systems Age Organizations Age Organizations

5 Informal Social Control: Socialization Every society, in order to survive, must pass on social norms from one generation to the next Every society, in order to survive, must pass on social norms from one generation to the next When members learn cultural norms, they also usually internalize the moral necessity to obey them When members learn cultural norms, they also usually internalize the moral necessity to obey them Variations in levels of coerciveness when socializing children Variations in levels of coerciveness when socializing children

6 Informal Social Control: Public Opinion In all cultures, people want the approval of other members of their society In all cultures, people want the approval of other members of their society Gossip, ostracism, rumor, sarcasm, and derision are all powerful corrective measures for reforming social behavior Gossip, ostracism, rumor, sarcasm, and derision are all powerful corrective measures for reforming social behavior Degradation ceremonies refer to formal societal mechanisms to publicly humiliate a deviant Degradation ceremonies refer to formal societal mechanisms to publicly humiliate a deviant

7 Informal Social Control: Corporate Lineages Play a dominant role in most small-scale societies Play a dominant role in most small-scale societies Exert economic control over their members Exert economic control over their members Act of mechanisms because of their scale – localized communities whose members know what everyone else is doing Act of mechanisms because of their scale – localized communities whose members know what everyone else is doing Exert social control because of diffuse roles Exert social control because of diffuse roles Exert social control due to collective capacity to control marriage Exert social control due to collective capacity to control marriage

8 Informal Social Control: Supernatural Belief Systems Belief in supernatural forces such as gods, witches, and socerers Belief in supernatural forces such as gods, witches, and socerers Ancestor worship Ancestor worship Dead ancestors are fully functioning members of the descent group Dead ancestors are fully functioning members of the descent group Ghost invocation brings wrath of ancestor gods against the sinner Ghost invocation brings wrath of ancestor gods against the sinner Ghost vengeance is the belief that ancestor-gods inflict sickness without having to be invoked Ghost vengeance is the belief that ancestor-gods inflict sickness without having to be invoked Witchcraft Witchcraft Common in acephalous societies Common in acephalous societies People reject the idea that misfortunes result from natural causes People reject the idea that misfortunes result from natural causes Deviant runs risk of being labeled a witch Deviant runs risk of being labeled a witch Fear of witchcraft encourages conformity Fear of witchcraft encourages conformity

9 Informal Social Control: Witchcraft Common in acephalous societies Common in acephalous societies People reject the idea of misfortunes resulting from natural causes People reject the idea of misfortunes resulting from natural causes A deviant runs the risk of being labeled a witch, and fear of being accused of witchcraft encourages conformity A deviant runs the risk of being labeled a witch, and fear of being accused of witchcraft encourages conformity Witches often identified by ritual specialist, a shaman, then community takes action Witches often identified by ritual specialist, a shaman, then community takes action

10 Age Organization Age set – group of people initiated during a periodic ceremony Age set – group of people initiated during a periodic ceremony Strong sense of group identity with one another Strong sense of group identity with one another Lasts from its inception until its last member has died Lasts from its inception until its last member has died Age grades Age grades Categories through age sets pass as a group Categories through age sets pass as a group An understood set of social roles and statuses An understood set of social roles and statuses Control behavior in a number of ways Control behavior in a number of ways Establish a clear set of roles and status Establish a clear set of roles and status Effective channels for the distribution of authority Effective channels for the distribution of authority Rites of passage are almost always preceded by intense periods of training in the norms and values of a society Rites of passage are almost always preceded by intense periods of training in the norms and values of a society Bonds of camaraderie are so strong that age sets tend to take on characteristics of a corporate group Bonds of camaraderie are so strong that age sets tend to take on characteristics of a corporate group Neither self-perpetuating nor property owning Neither self-perpetuating nor property owning

11 Formal Means of Social Control Violation of social norms often results in disputes among people in the society Violation of social norms often results in disputes among people in the society When disputes become violent conflicts, they are called crimes When disputes become violent conflicts, they are called crimes Song Duels Song Duels Intermediaries Intermediaries Moots: Informal Courts Moots: Informal Courts Oaths and Ordeals Oaths and Ordeals Courts and Codified Law Courts and Codified Law Warfare Warfare

12 Formal Social Control: Crimes Crimes are more likely in large, heterogeneous, stratified societies than in small-scale societies Crimes are more likely in large, heterogeneous, stratified societies than in small-scale societies Little or no anonymity in small scale societies Little or no anonymity in small scale societies More concern with negative public opinion in small- scale societies More concern with negative public opinion in small- scale societies Heterogeneity of complex societies means more groups with different, and probably conflicting, interests Heterogeneity of complex societies means more groups with different, and probably conflicting, interests Lower castes or classes in complex societies may be more likely to violate the rights of the more privileged Lower castes or classes in complex societies may be more likely to violate the rights of the more privileged

13 Formal Social Control: Song Duels Inuit of Canada, Alaska, and Greenland Inuit of Canada, Alaska, and Greenland A derisive song contest A derisive song contest Used to settle disputes that frequently involved in wife stealing Used to settle disputes that frequently involved in wife stealing Alternative to murder Alternative to murder

14 Formal Social Control: Intermediaries Nuer of the Sudan Nuer of the Sudan Help resolve serious conflicts Help resolve serious conflicts Nuer’s Leopard-skin chief has no authority to determine guilt or enforce settlement between parties Nuer’s Leopard-skin chief has no authority to determine guilt or enforce settlement between parties Uses personal and supernatural influence to bring the disputing parties to some type of agreed-upon settlement Uses personal and supernatural influence to bring the disputing parties to some type of agreed-upon settlement

15 Formal Social Control: Moots Kpelle of Liberia and Guinea Kpelle of Liberia and Guinea Found in many African societies Found in many African societies Effective mechanism for conflict resolution Effective mechanism for conflict resolution Informal airings of disputes involving kinsmen and friends of litigants Informal airings of disputes involving kinsmen and friends of litigants Generally deal with the resolution of domestic disputes Generally deal with the resolution of domestic disputes Attempt to reintegrate the guilty party back into community, restore normal social relations, achieve reconciliation without bitterness and acrimony Attempt to reintegrate the guilty party back into community, restore normal social relations, achieve reconciliation without bitterness and acrimony

16 Formal Social Control: Oaths and Ordeals Ashanti of West Africa Ashanti of West Africa Religiously sanctioned Religiously sanctioned Oath – formal declaration to some supernatural force that what you are saying is truthful or that you are innocent Oath – formal declaration to some supernatural force that what you are saying is truthful or that you are innocent Almost always accompanied by a ritual act Almost always accompanied by a ritual act Ordeal is means of determining guilt by submitting accused to a dangerous test Ordeal is means of determining guilt by submitting accused to a dangerous test Most likely to be found in complex societies where the political leadership lacks power to enforce judicial decisions Most likely to be found in complex societies where the political leadership lacks power to enforce judicial decisions

17 Formal Social Control: Courts State systems possess a monopoly on the use of force State systems possess a monopoly on the use of force Through system of codified law, state both forbids individuals from using force and determines how it will use force to require certain behaviors from citizens Through system of codified law, state both forbids individuals from using force and determines how it will use force to require certain behaviors from citizens When legal prescriptions are violated, state has authority to fine, imprison, or even execute the wrongdoer When legal prescriptions are violated, state has authority to fine, imprison, or even execute the wrongdoer Unauthorized use of force happens – crime, rebellion, revolution Unauthorized use of force happens – crime, rebellion, revolution Emphasis on punishment to avoid threat to the legitimacy of political and legal authority Emphasis on punishment to avoid threat to the legitimacy of political and legal authority Whereas state systems of government emphasize punishment, some small scale societies emphasize re- establishing harmony Whereas state systems of government emphasize punishment, some small scale societies emphasize re- establishing harmony

18 Codified Law Qualities Three basic features Three basic features Involves the legitimate use of physical coercion Involves the legitimate use of physical coercion Allocate official authority to privileged people who are able to use coercion legitimately Allocate official authority to privileged people who are able to use coercion legitimately Based on regularity and a certain amount of predictability Based on regularity and a certain amount of predictability

19 Formal Social Control: Warfare Systemic, organized, institutionalized fighting between different groups Systemic, organized, institutionalized fighting between different groups Enormous cultural variability in the extent to which societies use warfare Enormous cultural variability in the extent to which societies use warfare Only a human activity since Neolithic period Only a human activity since Neolithic period General factors contributing to warfare General factors contributing to warfare Social problems Social problems Perceived threats Perceived threats Political motivations Political motivations Moral objectives Moral objectives

20 Reasons foraging societies were not warlike Had no centralized governments that could finance and coordinate number of people needed for military campaigns Had no centralized governments that could finance and coordinate number of people needed for military campaigns Absence of food surpluses precluded prolonged combat Absence of food surpluses precluded prolonged combat Did not control land or territorial boundaries – major motivations for warfare Did not control land or territorial boundaries – major motivations for warfare Exogamous bands not likely to become hostile toward other bands into which relatives have married Exogamous bands not likely to become hostile toward other bands into which relatives have married


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