Informal Social Control Theory is a criminological theory that suggests that social norms and informal institutions play a vital role in regulating human behavior. This theory emphasizes the importance of socialization, social learning, and socialization agents in shaping individual behavior and preventing deviant behavior.

The Basics of Informal Social Control Theory

According to this theory, individuals are not born with deviant tendencies; instead, they acquire them through the interaction with their environment. The primary focus of this theory is on how socialization agents such as family, peers, schools, and communities influence human behavior.

The Role of Social Norms in Informal Social Control Theory

Social norms are unwritten rules that guide human behavior within a society. These norms may vary from one culture to another or from one community to another. For example, in some cultures, it may be acceptable to greet someone by kissing them on both cheeks while in others it may be considered inappropriate.

The Informal Social Control Theory suggests that individuals conform to these social norms because they fear negative consequences such as rejection or disapproval from their peers or community members if they fail to do so. Therefore, most individuals tend to behave according to what is socially acceptable within their communities.

The Role of Social Learning in Informal Social Control Theory

Social learning refers to the process by which individuals acquire values, beliefs, and attitudes through observation and modeling of others’ behavior. According to this theory, individuals learn how to behave through their interactions with others within their environment.

For example, if a child observes their parents engaging in criminal activities such as stealing or drug abuse, they are likely to learn these behaviors and engage in similar activities when they grow up. Therefore, the Informal Social Control Theory emphasizes that parents must act as positive role models for their children.

The Role of Informal Institutions in Informal Social Control Theory

Informal institutions are social structures that are not officially recognized by the government or other formal organizations. These institutions include families, peer groups, and communities. According to this theory, these institutions play a critical role in regulating human behavior.

For example, if a community has a strong sense of collective efficacy, members are likely to work together to prevent crime and deviant behavior within their community. Therefore, the Informal Social Control Theory suggests that communities must work together to promote positive social norms and values.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Informal Social Control Theory suggests that socialization agents such as family, peers, schools, and communities play a vital role in shaping individual behavior and preventing deviant behavior. This theory emphasizes the importance of social norms and informal institutions in regulating human behavior. Therefore, it is essential to promote positive social norms and values within our communities to prevent deviant behavior.