How is the education system a good example of informal control?

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Informal control is a system of social control (the other being formal control) in which control is exercised in a more informal or casual manner by the members of the group (or society). Informal control measures vary from group to group and society to society. The educational system is one example of informal control. There are numerous occasions when control is exercised without direct reward or punishment. Some examples of informal control measures used in our educational system are raised eyebrow (negative control), stern look (negative control), patting the back (positive control), sarcasm (negative control), badges & titles (positive control), frown (negative control), name calling (negative control), etc. Each positive control measure is expected to reinforce good and acceptable behavior, while a negative control measure is expected to prevent what the group or system terms as an unacceptable behavioral practice. It is to be noted that informal control is not only exercised by one's superiors (teachers in this case), but more commonly by peers (classmates in our educational system).