Toward A General Theory of Social Control: Volume 1 - Fundamentals

Toward A General Theory of Social Control: Volume 1 - Fundamentals. New York: Academic Press, 1980.
By Donald Black

A comprehensive work, this collection of new essays extends the scientific study of the subject of social control beyond law. Presented in two volumes consisting of twenty-two contributions by prominent scholars form sociology, anthropology, law, political science, and economics, this collection provides a foundation for a theoretical understanding of social control as a dependent variable, that is, as a quantity to be predicted and explained.

The essays address an extremely broad range of normative phenomena, including vengeance, punishment, compensation, therapy, mediation, rebellion, self-destruction, and gossip. Volume I, Fundamentals, opens with programmatic statements about the subject matter and then offers a number of inquiries into the socia conditions under which particular modes of social control occur. The second volume, Selected Problems, contains a number of investigations of social control in situations that may be especially interesting from a theoretical standpoint, including tribal totalitarian societies, suburban neighborhoods, and illegal markets, as well as several essays on explanation and methodology.

Invaluable to scholars and students interested in the sociology and anthropology of social control, this collection will also find wide appeal in law, dispute settlement, and related fields such as social conflict, deviant behavior, and criminology.