Other Forms of Social Control

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Cesare Beccaria argued that the threat of punishment controls crime. Do other forms of social control exist? Aside from the threat of legal punishment, what else controls your behavior?

There are other forms of social control. Parents are one form. They have the ability to teach their children right from wrong and what is good and what is bad. Parents control how their children are raised. But, even though we as parents do everything we can to make sure our kids grow up to be good citizens, there are other factors that may lead our children to do wrong. Although this is a good example of social control, it may not be completely fool proof. We can only hope that what we teach our children, that it will help them to make good choices for themselves when they get older.

Other forms of social control can exist within the schools and church. Children must abide by the rules when in school, as well as in church. With school, children have to behave and listen to their teachers so they will learn. If they misbehave, discipline is enforced to make sure that children don’t misbehave again. The same goes for church. People attend church to do right by God, so therefore choose the path of doing good.

There are many things that can control behavior besides the threat of legal punishment. Humiliation is an excellent example. People may realize that by doing something wrong will cause people to look at them in a different way, and cause them to feel humiliation. No one likes to feel put down or dismissed by their coworkers, friends and family. Just the thought of letting their friends and family down, is also good reason for someone not to get into trouble with the law. The desire to be a good citizen can also control a person’s behavior. They want to be able to do well in the world, and be successful. In order to accomplish this, one must not put themselves in a situation that can change that outcome.
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