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Social control and modernization Essay

Theories about social control normally propose that people’s commitments, norms, values, beliefs and relationships persuade them to respect the law. Therefore, internalizing moral codes that people are tied to, and their interest in the wider society, people will willingly limit their tendency to commit unusual acts. Most of theories on social control are based on ways of reducing propensity of people developing into criminals. They fail to consider issues on motivation and simply state that people are free to engage and choose many activities and can only be limited by the range of activities by social learning and socialization process.

Morality is therefore created in the coming up of a social order conveying consequences and costs to various choices and branding some as immoral, illegal or evil (Massey, 2005). Modernization and social control Whereas social change is usually conceived to be modernization, the term modernization actually refers to the historical process normally marked by democratization, capitalism and secularization, of the society and also the individualization and social differentiation.

Post modernity or late modernity is characterized by spontaneous social structures of modernization, which are associated with side effects and new risks which include life courses de-standardization and social exclusion dynamics. Social science comparison implies either implicitly or explicitly, that there exists a single modernization channel that corresponds to the western capitalism and democracy.

Any social development which is not in agreement with the western is perceived to be selective, implying that such a society is not modern and needs to accelerate its modernization process so as to be at par with the societies which are more modern (Massey, 2005). In the social structure continuation is an element that plays a very crucial role is the social control in which self discipline contributes significantly. Social and modernization changes affect the relations of socio economics. This process leads to developments of tensions between social control and self discipline which eventually results to social deviation.

The propensity of individualism in economical and social relations together with cultural and social alterations reduces the social control effect significantly. As moral, religious and tradition values welcomes hedonism while social values results into individual values, a tendency arises whereby self discipline slowly looses its effect on individual’s behavior. The propensity of utilization brought about by commercials is the foundation of social deviation as a result of conflicts between different classes of people in the society.

Tremors occur in institutions and primary relations due to the existing changes in values originating from the process of urbanization and modernization. The gap arising from the shortcomings of social control can never be filled by psychiatry functioning as a tool of self discipline in social control. But psychiatry plays a very crucial role in the social control process since it degrades the social economic frustrations caused by paradigm and capitalism, which lead to social deviant behavior among individuals, psychiatry helps in solving these tremors at individual level (Massey, 2005).

Modernization phenomenon has occurred in Europe among other societies allover the world. It is normally associated with urbanization and industrialization which usually ushers in societies that are more modern. It has therefore, created some very advanced societies which are quite few, with majority of the societies lagging behind in the modernization process; these societies are usually referred to as the developing countries. Modernization therefore, means the process by which economical, cultural and political practices develops.

In most traditional societies, there has been misrecognition of the term modernity; it is often viewed as advancement in technology, contemporary artifacts and materialistic outlook. These parameters contradicts those recognized by the traditional society; cultural practices moral values and culture were the main parameters that carried more weight in the traditional society, and were its main identity and organ. The social fabric was integrated by these components which upheld the heritages and traditions of the traditional society.

Some societies perceive modernization in terms of money power and materialism while others look at it as a imitation of the life patterns of the western countries by the less developed countries blindly, such developing communities are said to depart from their rich cultural values to follow other people’s way of life although they least understand them. The following of other people’s culture, have in most cases caused a negative impact on the social control of the individuals of these societies.

The cultural practices, moral values and their traditions are diluted and they eventually loose their original meaning. In the wake of modernity the essence of certain principles like, accommodation, tolerance, accountability and dignity are slowly being eroded. They are replaced by the emergence of greed, market force and money culture. The societies that end up following every aspect of the so called modern society’s way of life eventually loose their identity.

There are benefits that are associated with modernization, the main one being the prosperity and betterment of human life through information, education, integration of several cultures and inventions. Information is a vital instrument in modernization, because it aids in modernization inventions, social change, innovation and industrialization which are very important in society development. Through modernization people are nowadays being ruled by more democratic governments, the political systems which existed in societies have been done away with.

Socially these societies have been affected in that they are no longer ruled through village elders and chiefs who in most cases were obtaining their offices through inheritance. The political systems of these societies ensured that their people were held socially together by the norms and traditions of their land (Massey, 2005). Urbanization has come up as a result of modernization; this has made many people to stop practicing the teachings of their societies thus diluting the social fabric that used to hold such communities together, thus modernization has greatly affected social control.

Most of the young generations no longer have the elder people in the society as their role models but instead they more often will subscribe to gangs in their urban centers and they pledge their loyalty to such groupings. With the increased pace of modernization, societies allover the world are becoming more and more universal, they are subscribing to almost similar religious beliefs, the most common throughout the world are Christianity, Islamic and Hinduism. They have large following from all corners of the globe as they have managed to convert people of other believes into their own.

This has resulted to several societies all over the world to be held by similar norms, values and beliefs which are more universal as opposed to the era of pre modernization where societies were held to virtues which could only apply to their relatively small territories, although generally the teachings were some how similar in one way or another as most of the practices which were considered to be vices in one society could also be considered vices too in several other societies.

The social control on individuals is no longer attached to their community’s moral code but to a more universal code applicable to several other societies (Massey, 2005). Increased modernization has also resulted to similar modes of governance across the entire globe. Although, a few countries are yet to embrace democratization most counties are already practicing it, thus more and more societies are being delivered from the authoritarian mode of governance, where the citizens had no say in such governments to a more all inclusive system of governance.

In this mode of governance the governments find their way into the office by being voted in by the electorate, such governments have therefore, legitimate power to rule their citizens and are more accountable to the people. Socially people’s culture and practices have been affected as countries with several societies are made to come up with a uniform mode of governance which has to include the practices of each and every community within the country.

Communities no longer subscribe to their customary law although it may be applicable in civil cases; they are governed by law a set of rules and regulations which are applicable international (Massey, 2005). Conclusion As a result of modernization, the social control that used to govern people has been reduced significantly. The moral codes, norms, values and beliefs have been made to be more universal as opposed to the pre modernization era where such were only applicable locally.

Modernization has had both positive and negative impacts on societies. Negatively, the current generations are perceived to be less respectful to their elders and to engage in practices which traditionally would be considered to be immoral. On the positive side, modernization has brought about better modes of governance, where democratization is slowly taking effect allover the world. Reference: Massey, G (2005): Readings for Sociology; ISBN 0393927008, W. W. Norton.


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