A Level Politics

Improving your grade

FAQ: What are the functions of pressure groups?

Posted by Matt Walker on November 30, 2009

Friends of the Earth The difficulty of studying a political system is that you sometimes cannot fully understand its component parts until you’ve studied the whole. A good example of this was when we studied Democracy and Political Participation. One method of participation and being represented, we said, was being a member of a pressure group.

This is an important function of pressure groups. They represent different groups in society or people’s views over a particular issue. These ideas get transmitted to government, in the hope that decisions will be made which take account of the public’s view. Government can benefit from this by learning, if it chooses, to listen to what pressure groups have to say. And the public too may learn something from what pressure groups have to tell them. Just think how well educated most people are regarding the environment, which must have something to do with groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

Another important function of pressure groups is that they provide a means for the public to participate and have their voice listened to. It also provides them with the opportunity to let off steam over particular issues, which in turn perhaps helps the political system to handle conflict peacefully.

Would you rather join a pressure group or a political party? Why?

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2 Responses to “FAQ: What are the functions of pressure groups?”

  1. adyhorne said

    I would rather be a part of a political party due to the fact that they wish to benefit the country as a whole (some of them) and because they arent narrow minded. Political parties gain popularity and its like supporting a football club. A pressure group is like supporting a tennis player. A football club has many components and typically a larger following, where as a tennis player is one person. I hope you understand this, its very hard to put into words.

  2. Grace Willis said

    you could call pressue groups narrow minded but i believe that pressue groups help bring attention to issues that political parties sometimes brush off because they’re being to narrow minded and concerned with winning votes to be too bothered about the homeless for example after all they’re not going to be winning them votes ! if you are going to use the football analogy maybe you could think of the pressure groups as the stewards of the game incredibly annoying but after all keep everyone in line and safe !

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