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American Citizenship Chapter 9 Interest Groups. Section 1  The Nature of Interest Groups.

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Presentation on theme: "American Citizenship Chapter 9 Interest Groups. Section 1  The Nature of Interest Groups."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Citizenship Chapter 9 Interest Groups

2 Section 1  The Nature of Interest Groups

3 The Role of Interest Groups  Seek to influence Public Policy  They Function at every level of government  We are a pluralistic society

4 Political Parties and Interest Groups  Three major distinctions between political parties and interest groups  Making of nominations  Primary focus  Political parties are concerned about winning elections, while interest groups are issue oriented  Scope of their interests

5 Interest Groups: Good or Bad?  Two Early Views  Madison and Tocqueville disagreed on the importance of interest groups  Valuable Functions of Interest Groups  Interest groups help stimulate interest in public affairs  those issues and events that concern the people at large  represent members on the basis of shared attitudes  provide useful, specialized and detailed information to government  vehicles for political participation  watchdog participation

6 Interest Groups: Good or Bad? (Con’t)  Criticism  Sometimes more interested in their own agenda, as opposed to the interests of Americans  More organized and financed, the more say in government  How many people truly support the interest group?  Generally controlled by an active minority  Bribery and Threats sometimes used

7 Section 2  Types of Interest Groups

8 An American Tradition  Interest groups have been in American history from the beginning, in one form or another  Come in all shapes and sizes  On any issue, however predominantly civil rights and economics  Chamber of Commerce  American Legion  PTA  MSTA  Church

9 Group Based on Economic Interests  Business Groups  Business owners were strong proponents of the constitutional convention in 1787  Trade Associations most common today  interest groups within the business community  Labor Groups  Labor Unions  an organization of workers who share the same type of job or who work in the same industry  Largest labor union today is the AFL-CIO

10 Membership in Labor Unions Chapter 9, Section 2 3333 1111

11 Group Based on Economic Interests (Con’t)  Agricultural Groups  Today only 2% of the U.S. population lives on farms  American Farm Bureau one of the most prominent Agricultural interest groups  Professional Groups  Specialized on certain professions  such as the AMA, ABA, NEA

12 Other Interest Groups  Groups that promote causes  Exist to promote a cause or an idea  Examples  ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NRA, Sierra Club, National Right-to-life Committee  Organizations that promote the welfare of certain groups  American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Affairs, AARP, NAACP, NAAA  Religious Groups  Try to influence public policy in reference to church beliefs  National Council of Churches

13 Membership in Labor Unions Chapter 9, Section 2 3333 1111

14 Public-Interest Groups  An interest group that seeks to institute certain public policies of benefit to all or most people in this country

15 Section 3  Interest Groups at Work

16 Influencing Public Opinion  Interest Groups reach out in three ways  Supply the public with “accurate” information  Build a positive image for the group  Promote a particular public policy

17 Propaganda  A technique of persuasion aimed at influencing individual or group behaviors  Taking a conclusion, and finding information to support that conclusion  Greatly used through mass media, with simple slogans

18 Influencing Parties and Elections  Interest Groups know and use political parties as allies to advance their particular issues  PAC’s most common use of Interest Groups in the political process  Single-interest groups  PACs that concentrate their efforts on one issue, such as abortion, gun control, or health care

19 Lobbying  Those activities by which group pressures are brought to bear on legislators and legislative process  Nearly all types of interest groups, have lobbyist in Washington, D.C. in order to influence legislative decisions  Lobbyist at Work  They will write articles in papers, create commercials, testify before committees, etc.  Grass roots pressure is brought up as well  from the people, average voters  Lobby Regulation  Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 requires all those involved in lobbying to register

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