What Is a Negative Sanction?

A negative sanction is a punishment for an action a person performs when another person's actions aren't aligned with cultural or societal beliefs. An example of a negative sanction is to stop talking to a person because he is offensive.

A sanction is a type of social control that is exerted on a person or group as a result of their actions.

Sanctions are believed by sociologists to be a form of external control. While, on the other hand, cultural values and expectations are believed to be examples of internal control.

It is clear that society has standards in performance as well as expectations in behavior. When others fall outside these standards or expectations, a common reaction is to punish the individual or group with negative sanctions. In addition negative sanctions are especially common when it comes to entering new and different cultures. When individuals or groups are not aware of a culture's customs, it can be seen as ignorant and offensive.

On the other hand, a more effective strategy regarding making others conform is to give positive sanctions. A positive sanction is an action that serves as a reward for an action or encouragement to continue a particular behavior.