Presentation on theme: "Chapter 8: Deviance and Social Control. What is Social Control? Each group, culture, subculture, etc., has a system of norms and values Social control."— Presentation transcript:
What is Social Control? Each group, culture, subculture, etc., has a system of norms and values Social control is the means of instilling said values within a certain group Where does social control come from when we are young? – Parents What are some other obvious means of social control? – Friends – Schools – Work – Government
Sanctions We follow social norms without even thinking – Driving – School – Even a situation like elevators This reflects our socialization Why do we follow these norms? The fear of being punished or sanctioned There are formal and informal sanctions – Ridicule – Jail time or fines
Effectiveness of Social Control: Mixed Messages Why can social control be difficult? People are always trying to tell you to do the opposite Functionalists believe social norms are key to the survival of a society Rule breaking will end us all Conflict theorists believe that it is needed for a society to grow and expand – We are founded on resisting social control What other issues has the United States attacked with resistance to social control? – Slavery – Women’s suffrage – Civil rights
Conformity and Obedience Social control functions at group levels and societal levels Peers and authority figures have some “control” over us There is a difference in how it happens Conformity is going along with peers to fit in – Who do we conform to? – Peer pressure can grow from conformity Obedience is compliance with authority – Who do we obey?
Conformity and Prejudice We often seek to conform to common opinions – This can lead to prejudice and racism – How did the Nazis get started? Hearing one person say something can make you think and feel the same way – Not unlike opinion leaders A study was conducted in 1991 with racism at Smith College – They found the students’ responses mirrored the opinions of the other survey takers – Proved that in a small group conformity can influence people’s outward attitudes
Obedience and One Messed Up Study Stanley Milgram conducted a study starting in 1961 (published in 1963 and later in 1975) Got the idea from the obedient nature of the Nazi Party in Germany – In a way he wanted to examine who should be held responsible for what happened The study was conducted at Yale University Subjects included people from all walks of life: engineers, teachers, laborers He told those involved he was researching the “effects of punishment on learning”
How Did It Work? There were three roles: experimenter, teacher, learner – Learner and experimenter were in on the study – The teacher is the one being studied The learner would be strapped into what appeared to be an electric device Teacher would have control of the device with varying levels of electricity – Teacher was shocked to prove the realness – The experiment was “rigged” Learner would give incorrect answers and would respond to the shocks in increasingly vocal ways If the teacher wished to stop they would be told: – “The experiment requires that you continue” – “You have no other choice: you must go on”
What Were the Results? In one word, kind of messed up Prior to the study many social scientists believed only a small number of people would administer shocks to complete strangers – Study found quite the opposite Nearly 2/3rds of the “teachers” were obedient They obeyed the “experimenter” because he was an authority figure The “experimenter” was a scientist in a lab coat We often obey people we don’t know because of a uniform or a title – Who? In the study they viewed themselves as carrying out their duty Study has come under criticism as many feel it was psychologically damaging to the “teacher” and immoral Milgram went on to state that “if a system of death camps were set up in the United States…one would be able to find personnel in any medium sized American town”
Types of Informal Control Informal social control can be good or bad – Smiling, laughter – Ridicule, sideways look These are casual ways of enforcing our norms In the United States we view spanking and striking our children as acceptable Called corporal punishment Some sociologists warn this can cause more violence later in the child's life and aggressive behavior Despite this, in 1998, almost 60% of pediatricians advocate the use of corporal punishment
Types of Formal Control Formal control comes from authority figures – Lets review: Who are they? In some ways it is a last resort if socialization and informal sanctions have failed Which punishment is becoming the most common? – Six to seven million adults are either in jail, on parole, or on probation – One in thirty adults How severe should punishments be? Varies from country to country
Changes in Social Control What event caused changes in social control? Post 9/11 we have ramped up social control at airports and government buildings Informal controls have changed as well – It is your patriotic duty to report things that look out of the ordinary now Some of the increases in control may not be legal Thank you, Patriot Act FBI can pry into your life without a warrant – School records – Library records – Health records – Pretty much whatever they want What group is negatively stereotyped as a result?
Laws and Society Some norms or values are so important that we make them into laws – A law is a governmental social control Laws govern just about every aspect of life – Laws against murder – Laws regulating hunting – Laws regulating taxes and corporations Lawmaking is a social process – Laws were originally passed down from generation to generation Now it reflects an ever-changing society Right and wrong can change as well as the punishments for them Laws are debated almost constantly – Prohibition and the 55-mph speed limit failed – Why?