Functions of interest groups are being discussed n this article. The first, it not always obvious political function of an interest group is to influence public policy in an effort to provide benefits to its members. In so doing, it helps to communicate popular feelings and demands to the government. Where a competitive party system exists, part of an interest group‘s political effort is devoted to influencing one or more of the political parties.
A political party in turn attempts to reconcile as many conflicting interests as the party judges ideologically acceptable or practical in order to win electoral support. Interest groups lobby or seek to persuade public officials, including bureaucrats, and they often contribute time, money, and people to support political candidates (electioneering). Many interest groups also function as a source of information to bureaucrats and lawmakers. This information generally must be “straight” and not obviously and systematically manipulated if a group is to build up and retain trust and prestige.
Functions of interest groups,That We Avoid The Evils of “,Mass Society.
1. Independent groups assist in dealing with many local problems. For example, in the absence of such associations as the P.T.A., which provides channels of communication between parents and schools, the individual is less likely to develop or maintain interest and participation in aspects of the school program.
2. Most interest-group leaders, irrespective of their particular aims (unless they seek to transform radically the political system), help to legitimize the larger system of authority within which their authority system is bound.
3. A large number of stable and independent groups result in diverse and competing interests. The opposition and orderly tension among groups re-strains each group’s power. This discourages concentrations of power dan-gerous to both decision makers and the masses.
4.Autonomy also prevents a concentration of power. Groups are more or less autonomous in their own spheres because they are not directly determined in their membership and policies by higher authorities.
5.There are some overlapping memberships among groups. Because each group is concerned with only limited aspects of its members’ lives, groups generally do not seek total domination over their membership.
6.The presence of many groups places an important responsibility on government. The government should have the capacity , and also assume the responsibility. to protect the individual against domination by any groups.