Discussion question week 5

Formal and Informal social control Formal social control is the value system that is set and practiced by social agencies to maintain order in the society. On the other hand, informal social control refers to a mild reflection of social interaction between people in the society. While formal social control has established mechanisms that prevent or discourage engagement in social ills like crime, informal social control is simply a reaction of friends, family, and the community at large toward correcting an individual’s unwanted behaviors (Innes 42).
Failure to comply with the set norms in formal social control like engaging in criminal activities like stealing and killing leads to formal prosecution or punishment by the concerned social authority. On the other hand, failure to comply with the informal social control system often leads to subtle punishments such as mockery, gossip, and even being ignored (Innes 43). An example is discouraging an obese friend from eating too much food on the condition that if he does he or she will be mocked.
Specific and General Deterrence
Deterrence is the act of preventing a certain behavior or act from repeatedly happening. General deterrence is the impact of the threat of legal punishment on the public at large while specific deterrence refers to the impact of the actual legal punishment on the apprehended people (Akers 19). While specific deterrence focuses on an individual in question and aims at discouraging them from future criminal activity by instilling an understanding of the consequences, general deterrence focuses on the general crimes prevention mechanisms with reference to specific social deviances (Akers 20). For instance, violating traffic laws that influence driving behaviors leads to the apprehension with respect to general deterrence while specific deterrence results from actual experience of apprehension and prosecution of the offender. However, both types of deterrence are ways of instilling order in the society as they ensure that people abide by the set rules and regulations.
Works Cited
Akers, Ronald. Criminological Theories. New York: Taylor & Francis, 199. Print.
Innes, Martin. Understanding Social Control: Deviance, Crime and Sobial Order. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2003. Print.