Formal Social Control

Formal social control is implemented by authorized agents including police officers, employers, military officers, and others. It is carried out as a last option at some places when the desired behavior is not possible through informal social control. The situations and severity where formal control is practiced varies with countries.

This is practiced through law as statutes, rules, and regulations against deviant social behavior. For example, certain laws like prohibition of murder can be directed at all members of a society. Fishing and hunting regulations are made for certain groups. Corporate laws are laid for governing the behavior of social institutions.

Formal control is conducted by government and organizations through law enforcement mechanisms. It can also be conducted through some formal sanctions including fines and imprisonment. Processes of formal control in democratic societies are determined and designed through legislation by elected representatives.

Courts or judges, military officers, police officers, school systems or teachers, and government agencies or bureaucrats, enforce formal control.

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By Hassham

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