What is Deviance and its methods to control deviance in society?

(1) Introduction

It is due to social control that members of any society remain united, follow a common acceptable behavior and avoid any kind of deviance. In absence of social control, the society withers away. Therefore, social control is considered essential not only for existence and survival of society, but also for control of deviance.

(2)Methods To Control Deviance In Society

Followings are methods to control deviance in the society:

  • (i) Informal methods.
  • (ii) Formal methods

(i) Informal Methods

Informal methods to control deviance are:

  • (a) Family
  • (b) Peer group
  • (c) Neighborhood
  • (d) Caste/class
  • (e) Religion
  • (f) Folkways
  • (g) Mores
  • (h) Taboos
  • (i) Customs

(a) Family

Family is the most important: an individual can violate other codes and conduct, but he cannot violate his family norms.

(b) Peer Group

It is through informal sanctions that peer group control behaviour of its members.

(c) Neighbourhood

Customs and traditions compel every individual to adapt normative behaviour with his neighbours.

(d) Caste/Class

Each caste and class control behaviour of their members through their codes of conducts.

(e) Religion

Religion also work as method to control deviance: religion teaches the people what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad.

(f) Folkways

Folkways are social norms that govern everyday behaviour among members of a society.

(g) Mores

Mores are beliefs in the rightness or wrongness of acts. Positive mores give instructions and provide guidance for the people to behave in particular way. And negative mores forbid or prohibit certain behaviour patterns.

(h) Taboos

Taboos are negative mores: they forbid or prohibit certain behaviour patterns.

(I) Customs

Customs are the long established habits and usages of the people. They regulate human behavior in the society.

(ii) Formal Agencies

Formal methods to control deviance are:

  • (a) Law
  • (b) Education & educational institutions
  • (c) Coercion
  • (d) Media

(a) Law

Law is the most important formal method to control deviance: law defines the required behavior and specifies penalties against violation of such behavior.

(b) Education & Educational Institutions

Education and educational institutions work as an effective method to control deviance: education and educational institutions teach discipline, social cooperation, tolerance and sacrifice. And discipline, social cooperation, tolerance and sacrifice keep the people under social control.

(c) Coercion

Coercion is the ultimate means of control of deviance when all other means fail. Coercion is the use of force to achieve a desired end. It may be physical or non-violent. Physical coercion can take the form of bodily injury, imprisonment and death penalty.

(d) Media

Media works as a formal method in the sense that it influences the behaviour and causes a fear of being rejected if the required behaviour is not adapted.

(3) conclusion

It can be finally stated that norms make social life possible by making behavior predictable. But deviance undermines the predictability of behaviour, and, therefore, endangers the basis of social life. And it is social control that works against such danger to secure the social life.

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