Sociology Index

POSITIVE SANCTION AND NEGATIVE SANCTION

Sanction is a positive or negative response by an individual or group to behavior and designed to encourage or discourage that behavior. Positive sanction would include rewards, compliments, applause, or smiles, while negative sanctions would include punishments, frowns, avoidance, or gossip.

Sanctions can be informal (coming from friends and neighbors) or formal (coming from authorized institutions like the police, the government, the school), and must be seen as forms of social control.

Sanction: A Critical Element in Action Research - Alfred W. Clark - Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, London - The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 8, No. 6, 713-731 (1972)
Analysis of this case study supports the view that broad-based and continuous sanction is critical in the practice of action research. An attempt was made to create the conditions for change in an organisation by helping its members develop a statement of their philosophy of management. This was intended to provide a shared basis for action. Sanction for the change in values was not, however, sufficiently established.

Shame as a Sanction of Social Control in Biblical Israel: Judicial, Political, and Social Shaming 
Lyn M. Bechtel, Moravian Theological Seminary Bethlehem, PA 18018, USA 
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Vol. 16, No. 49 (1991) � 1991 SAGE Publications
The history of Judeo-Christian biblical interpretation reflects a strong emphasis on the sanction of guilt; yet the sanction of shame probably plays a more significant role in the society. Shame is a different emo tional response and sanction, arising out of different psychological forces and functioning in different social constructions from guilt.

As a sanction of behavior shame functions primarily as (1) a means of social control which attempts to repress aggressive or undesirable behavior; (2) as a pressure that preserves social cohesion in the com munity through rejection and the creation of social distance between deviant members and the group; and (3) as an important means of dominating others and manipulating social status. Its coercive power is available officially to state or local authorities as a formal sanction (judicial and political shaming) and unofficially to the community as an informal social sanction (social shaming). It is effective in a pre dominantly group-oriented social structure.