Social control


HideShow resource information
  • Created by: izzy89
  • Created on: 29-11-15 18:54

Social control

Key words:

  • CJS- Criminal Justice System
  • Anomic state- an absence of shared values and social norms


CJS= looking after the interests of society

No CJS= anomic state


CJS= benefits only the ruling class

Law and police are agents of the ruling class

1 of 4

Social control 2

Foucault (1977)

  • Knowledge= Power
  • Those that succeed at gaining knowledge, gain power and use it to enforce social control.
  • CJS plays an important part in enforcing this.
  • Visibility= Knowledge= Power
  • Increased visibility leads to more individualised power.
  • Survaillence is a form of social control.
  • Compares this to the Panoptican illusion. This describes a prison that is cylindrical shaped wrapped around a tower that emmitts a bright light. The prison wall contains cells with windows facing towards the tower in the middle. The tower contains survaillence and anybody at any time is able to come in and watch the criminals. They can see them, but the prisoners cannot see the surveyors because of the bright light, they can only see what is inside their cell. This decreses the prisoners power because they are being watched, giving the surveyors knowledge about them. However, the prisoners can't see who is watching them so they are trapped by their visibility and inability to see.
2 of 4

Social control 3

Stan Cohen (1985)

  • Nature of social control has changed in society.
  • Previously, laws were chaotically enforced.
  • Now, laws are enforced consistently throughout society.
  • More people are in power.
  • Crime used be public, now it is more subtle i.e. CCTV.

Feeley and Simon- Actuarialism

  • Social control now controls people that have the potential to be deviant rather than actually demonstarte deviancy.
  • There is large amounts of surviellance which helps profit companies.
3 of 4


Mechanic societies: Retributive model of law enforcement (revenge and punishment of offender).

Organic (complex) societies: Restitutive law (making things right for the victim and rehabilitation of offenders).

Rusche and Kircheimer

  • Law reflects ruling class ideology.
  • Punishment also reflects their interests.
  • Capitalism= prisoners serve purposes for the benefit of society, i.e. low paid work for long hours.


  • Punishment has change overtime.
  • Previously, offenders offended against god and others.
  • Now, aim of punishment is rehabilitaion by making them fully internalise the need to conform.
4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Crime and deviance resources »