Socialcontrol is deemed important in bringing order or sanity to thesociety. At times, the government may introduce some regulations in agiven system so as to ensure that people become orderly in theprocess (Harrison & Sanders, 2014). Social control can be seen asthe conversion of a person to conformity. There are two forms ofsocial control, which are formal and informal. From the case, it canbe argued that social controls played a great role in the loss ofownership of the Los Angeles Clippers that was owned by DonaldSterling. There were both informal and formal social controls thatresulted in the loss. One of informal social controls was sarcasm. Awebsite had been created that was sarcastically called by his name,where detractors had spent five years trying to attack the ads postedby referring them as painful to view. In fact, this was shameful tohim and made him to decline an interview that was meant to dig deepinto the matters. Another informal social control that can beassociated with the loss was disapproval by individuals surroundinghim. For instance, ex-employees and acquaintances disapprovedSterling because he was a person who applied bullying tactics to havehis own way succeed (Fenno et al., 2014). A former Clippers vicepresident, Tellem, argued that Sterling was tough and always wantedto have things his way. This disapproved Sterling as a leader.Alternatively, formal social control played a part in his lossbecause Sterling faced several lawsuits. For instance punching of aStaples Center guard, failing to pay Spilger a prize he had won, andhis racist comments that led to banning Sterling from NBA for life(Fenno et al., 2014).
Socialnorms are critical in ensuring that there is social order. From thetime a person is born, he learns what is expected from him by thesociety and what may result in disorder in society, as well as whatmay be considered deviant in the society (Inderbitzin et al., 2014).This development goes on as an individual grows up and becomessocialized by various agents in society. Thus, I have the opinionthat the social norms for men, who have acquired the age of Sterling,cannot support the use of derogatory language the moment they arediscussing a member of another race. I believe this is the casebecause the men of his age have gone through different socializationagents that can help them know that it is unacceptable to usedisparaging language or words when talking about a person from aseparate race from the one they belong to.
Ido not support the social norms of men of Sterling’s age. The men,who are his age, can be considered his peers. As such, they aresupposed to face him and tell him where he goes wrong and not keepquiet pretending nothing has happened. From the case, it was expectedthat the men of his age could have confronted Sterling so as tochallenge him to change his behavior. However, from the case, thesocial norms of the men his age can be considered unreasonablebecause instead of advising him, they supported him indirectly bycringing at his behavior (Fenno et al., 2014). For instance, the caseindicates that some associates cringed at his conduct of invadingtheir space. Therefore, the social norms of the men Sterling’s ageshould be criticized.
Theuse of informal social controls has been considered effective in someinstances however, they can fail to bring conformity in some cases.For instance, the form of informal social control applied towards anindividual may fail to result in conformity because individuals tendto be affected differently by the control used. In the case ofSterling, the use of informal sanctions such as ostracism by peerswould not have deterred his behavior. This emanates from thepersonality of Sterling that emerges from the case. From the case,Sterling has been depicted as a man who does not fear beingchallenged by his peers, and would always seek means that would tendto satisfy his own desires. Thus, ostracism by peers would not workwell towards his conformity since he would attempt using other meansthat would justify his actions. Although ostracism would not beeffective, it would have a little impact on him.
Incase the informal sanction was to be used in making him conform tothe social norms, it would have little impact on Sterling, whichwould make him care less for the welfare of others. Thus, people whowere offended by his comments would not be satisfied. This emanatesfrom the reasoning that Sterling may resist to change his behavior,which may later affect others. In case the sanction would have alarge impact on him, people offended by Sterling’s comment would besatisfied because they would have the feeling that he would changehis conduct so as to avoid being affected largely again by thesanctions. Therefore, the ineffectiveness of the informal sanctionwould have an impact of making the offended individuals lesssatisfied.
Theformal sanction of $2.5 million fine that was imposed on Sterling bythe NBA Commission was very relevant in ensuring that the league, aswell as the players, had protection. When the fine was imposed, itacted towards protecting the players since it offered an assurance orconfidence to the players that they would not face racialdifferentiation when they are in the field. This emanates from thereasoning that the person, who used racial comments, would not be inthe field again to issue the comments and other individuals who havea similar issue would keep off using racial comments towards playersbecause they would fear being largely hurt by the fine that would beimposed on them in case they issue such comments. This implies thatthe employees would be shielded from the problem. Alternatively, theformal sanction of imposing the fine on Sterling would be effectivein protecting the league because it would eliminate the chances ofSterling using racist comments while his team is on the league. Apartfrom this, the formal sanction would make other team leaders in theleague fear making racist comments since they would fear facing asimilar penalty, which would make them pay huge amounts that may leadto their downfall. As such, the league would be protected from anyentrants that would have the behavior of using racist comments intheir contributions as part of the league members. Hence, it can beargued that the formal sanction would act successfully in protectingboth the players and the league.
Fenno,N. Christensen, K. & Rainey, J. (2014). DonaldSterling built an empire and an image words were his undoing.Retrieved fromhttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-donald-sterling-20140803-story.html
Harrison,M. L. & Sanders, T. (2014). Socialpolicies and social control: New perspectives on the `not-so-bigsociety`.Bristol: Policy Press.
Inderbitzin,M. L., Bates, K. A., & Gainey, R. R. (2014). Perspectiveson Deviance and Social Control.Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.