Social control is seen as necessary for promoting continuing
stability and conformity in societies, it can become dysfunctional at
times. The following are some of the
dysfunctional aspects of social control.
4 Consequences of Social Control
Inhibiting Reform and Change
Social control may sometimes become a subtle means of
exploitation.Some of the dominant
groups or individuals may simply use it to fulfill their own vested interests.
These interests may be political, economic, or social.In such cases, the real motivations are
hidden under the cover of some laudable objectives.A ruling party may try to perpetuate its
rule, or a business firm may try to sell its substandard goods by means of utilizing
the techniques of social control.
Reform and Change
Social control may have limiting consequences in that it may
sometimes inhibit creativity, and obstruct attempts at constructive reforms and
Social control may also exert an enormous amount of emotional
and psychological pressure on some individuals.The best example is that of the institutions
such as prisons and mental hospitals.The strict regime and oppressive atmosphere sometimes create mental
tensions and even illnesses among them.Similarly, where parents have very strict standards of discipline, their
children’s personalities do not develop in a normal way.In repressive police-states, many
individuals, likewise, suffer from stress and tension.Thus, the individual must pay a price for
social control in psychological terms.
Social control may also lead to social tensions,
particularly in a large, complex society. Here, there may be different groups
with their distinctive interests, norms, and values that may conflict with
each other.When attempts are made by
one or more groups to impose their own standards on others, conflict and
struggle become inevitable.