(noun) A sanction that is not enforced or punished by an authority but that occurs in everyday interactions with other people.
Example: When one patron asks another patron to lower their voice in a movie theater.
Audio Pronunciation: (in·for·mal sanc·tion)
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- Plural: informal sanctions
- The terms informal sanction and informal social sanction are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
- Sociologists study four primary types of sanctions: formal sanctions, informal sanctions, negative sanctions, and positive sanctions.
- “Informal sanctions are not clearly defined and can be applied by any member of a group (such as frowning at someone or making a a negative comment or gesture” (Kendall 2006:56).
- Janowitz, Morris, and James Burk. 1991. On Social Organization and Social Control. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- LaPiere, Richard T. 1954. A Theory of Social Control. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Park, Robert Ezra, and Ralph H. Turner. 1967. On Social Control and Collective Behavior. Selected papers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.