Control cannot be defined without first understanding deviance. Deviance may be described as the violation of social rules and norms (Macionis & Gerber, 2010). Social Control is the regulation of deviant behavior to ensure conformity to norms. There are two broad forms of social control recognized by sociologists namely, informal and formal control (Gardner, 1954). I have been tasked with identifying agents of informal social control from my own personal experience. In doing so, I hope to get a better understanding of the concept of informal control, the methods used to exercise informal control and the impact of these methods both in the short and the long term.
How this Paper is Organized.
I first present a background of my life to give context to the identification of agents of social control. Next, I present the agents of informal control based on earlier research, and how these methods of informal control have evolved and changed over the years. Following this research, I then proceed to identify the methods I experienced in my life and how these controls have influenced my decisions and shaped my life.
Having completed high school graduation I decided to study Mass Media Communication. Media exerts great control on public opinion. The concept of Mass Media has evolved over the years. From the evolution of the printing press in 1456 media, communication has come a long way to the social media publishing of the contemporary world. According to Stefanone, Lackaff, & Rosen (2010) the popularity of Reality Television and web applications together brought about a shift in the perception of media. The study shows that behavior that was traditionally associated with celebrities has been adopted by the public as a direct result of mediated communication. It is obvious from this study that mass media impacts social behavior. I have selected social media as the specific agent of research and present evidence to show how this medium of communication affects social behavior.