how does taboo serve as a means of social control?
Social control is defined as the regulation of individual or group behavior as a method of enforcing conformity and compliance to established norms or expectations. Informal social control is the internalization of social norms and behavior standards that allows a person to get along in their own society.
Taboo: a social or religious custom prohibiting or restricting a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.
Common taboos involve restrictions or ritual regulation of
- Killing and hunting
+ve: Ban on killing of animals which are important from religious point of view e.g. cow in India
-ve: Sometimes it is being used by pro religious groups who uses this agenda and leads to violent activities as happened in Dadri (UP) in 2016
- Sex and sexual relationships
+ve: This helps in avoiding sexual relationship between people other than one’s spouse and thus not only avoids unnecessary conflict if this gets disclosed to the dear ones or relatives of the people involved, but also creates a sense of respect between the people involved in such taboo
- Reproduction (abortion, infanticide)
-ve: Many girl child have been killed after birth and many during initial period of pregnancy because of orthodox thinking of Indian families who desires boys more than girls leading to skewed ratio of girls w.r.t boys
- Food and dining
+ve: Several practices under it like vegetarianism which has several benefits like better health, no unnecessary killing of animals, no consumption of unhealthy non-veg which now-a-days are being subject to heavy chemicals for their massive growth etc. Also, consumption of such non-vegetarian foods in long term also leads to antibiotic resistance as antibiotics are used for their growth.
- Gender Bias:
-ve: Giving more priority to boys over girls in terms of education, freedom, nutrition etc. leading to underdevelopment of girl child which further can be seen in the children born out of them who have to face nutrition or less intellectual development etc. because of lack of experience or support from their mother side.
So, although some taboos are good but still they are many negative features of it as well and people must become aware enough to stop such unnecessary practices which is hampering the development of common people and one must follow the rules as made, regulated and enforced by the legitimate organisations.