Social Control And The Middle Class

1803 Words Oct 20th, 2014 8 Pages
An entirely new situation presented itself following industrialisation, unlike smaller city communities that had characterised the eighteenth century, sharp population growth and distinctive patterns of migration to large industrial centres, lead to inherent social problems. The urban infrastructure could not keep up with increasing population density and cities became rife with crime. The governmental and ruling classes became fearful of the situation and saw criminality as an object to be anxious of. Due to this institutions emerged to control and survey the masses, these movements are known as ‘social control’. Firstly by exploring methods of social control we can understand that cities were managed through threats of violence and incarceration. Additionally, the police force that was established during the period carried out the responsibilities of a violent regulator and surveillance network that was effective in ordering the urban population. The middle classes were involved in the social control institutions that provided managerial frameworks for nineteenth century cities. Additionally urban infrastructure was another control technique utilised.
Defining what is meant by ‘social control’ is problematic. Cohen and Scull adopt a social stance, using the term to reference the middle or upper classes using institutions to regulate the behaviour and cultural values of lower orders for their benefit, perhaps for redemption purposes. They divided the term into two…

More about Social Control And The Middle Class

Open Document