Agents of Social Control is a term used in critical sociology to talk about different groups that help make sure people follow the rules established in societal structures. The word would also include social workers, teachers, priests, and other people whose controlling impact is not as direct but is yet seen to be substantial, in addition to such apparent ones as the police, courts, and prisons.
Agents of social control might be broadly described as any individual or organization that attempts to influence another person’s conduct via official or informal punishments or incentives in society.
The instruments used to exert social control are agencies. To effectively enforce social control, groups, organizations, and authorities are referred to as agencies. They have absolute power over what should be put into practice and what shouldn’t. Agencies have the authority to praise or chastise people. The governing bodies of society are the family, the state, and the educational system.
Formal agencies and informal agencies are the two basic categories of social control agencies.
Informal Agents of Social Control
1. Family: The most effective social control mechanism is the family. The family is in charge of the child. The family norms cannot be broken, although other rules and practices may.
2. The Peer Group: The peer group imposes informal punishments on its members.
3. Neighborhood: Unwritten regulations require neighbors to get along and coexist. Individuals are compelled to adhere to the usual pattern of behavior by their neighbors’ gossip, rejection, scorn, and social isolation.
4. Caste and Class: Each caste and class has a set of rules that serve as a means of policing its members.
5. Religion: The religious worldview aids in defining right and wrong, holy and profane, and other concepts.
Formal Agents of Social Control
1. The police force is the official entity with the highest authority to exert direct social control. It identifies potential social order violators.
2. Educational Institution: Schools create specific policies and guidelines to maintain order and a moral code.
3. State law and the constitution