An individual member of the society forms a percept of the world around them. A percept is purely personal. No person can know what percept the other person sees. All they know is how they perceive the world.
Communication, particularly by way of language allows one person to describe their own percept of the world.
A public opinion is formed when people come together in to form of an organised group. A special something is experienced which is far different from their individual opinion. When people transmit their experiences to another by way of communication, their own experience is transmitted in a way that the other person is able to grasp it, by way of understanding how the second person sees the first person. A common, shared experience evolves. In a society, that public opinion exists, which is a cumulative experience of the social individuals.
The individual opinion is never formed in isolation.
Every individual opinion at its core is a public opinion.
Imitation is the inherent nature of a gregarious animal. In human society people form a common experience, by imitation of actions of others.
Communication causes an experience of one person to be present for another, leaving both of them with a new experience which is different from their original experiences before the communication took place. The final experience becomes a common experience. When multiple people come together in an organised way, a new experience is formed which is what they live inside of as their social experience.
It is the social process and its repetition that gives the members of the society the social experience. In a social organism, what causes the social aggregate to control the individual to stay within? Society lives in transmission, in communication. Public opinion is formed which influences the individual opinion. In fact, individual opinion cannot be formed by isolation. Hence, every individual opinion is public opinion. Social processes give rise to
- Traditions and
- Public Opinion
Both these are the products of the Social Process.
The social process and its products viz Traditions, and Public Opinion give rise to Social Consciousness.
Social Consciousness, which is different from individual consciousness, makes the individual conform to the social doctrines, when there is a conflict between individual interest and social obligation. As in a herd, the participation of an individual in a group is instinctive. Humans too live in the society instinctively. However the social process and its products (Public Opinion and Traditions) together give rise to Public Consciousness. The products of the social process cause the Social Control.