A2, Unit 3C - Pressure Groups

I'm resitting this exam - these are updated notes! 

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Types of pressure groups, their functions, reasons for joining a pressure group, their methods, their impact on government (access points), regulations, Iron Triangles, the Revolving Door, Pluralism and Elitism and are pressure groups democratic/undemocratic.

I'm using this particularly for Unit 3C but it may be helpful for A Level overall!

This was all done by me, feedback and comments would be appreciated!


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  • Created by: char
  • Created on: 10-06-12 12:54
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Pressure groups vary in size, wealth and influence ­
they operate at all levels of government and seek to
influence all three branches of government.
· Two broad types of pressure group :
· Institutional pressure groups : they want to represent
other organisations and groups ­ business and trade
groups. Eg. the American Business Conference, the
National Association of Manufacturers and the
National Automobile Dealers Association. ­ also
includes trade unions and professional pressure groups
(the American Medical Association).…read more

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- Membership pressure groups : they tend to represent
individual people rather than organisations/groups ­ they
may be single issue groups. Eg. NRA (National Rifle
Association) or they may join an ideological group. Eg. the
American Conservative Union or the ACLU (the American
Civil Liberties Union).
- They may also join membership groups that represent
individuals with a common gender, ethnic, relgio8us or
social characteristic. Eg. NAACP (black civil rights)
- Think tanks are also popular ­ they conduct research, write
reports, write articles for publication in newspapers,
publish journals ect. Most have an ideological slant.…read more

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They perform five basic functions ­ although not all
pressure groups perform all of these functions.
· Representative function ­ they are a way in which
ordinary people can have their views represented and
their grievances heard ­ they are an important link
between the people and the politicians ­ it's a way for
people to voice their opinions.
· A Senator/Representative have many calls upon them
(lots of constituents, their party, the administration) ­
however, people use pressure groups as a way to get
their strongest held beliefs represented in all three
branches of government at local/federal level ­
something a Senator/Representative can't do.…read more

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Aid citizen participation - increase the opportunity
for people to participate in the decision making
process between elections
· US elections happen frequently however election
day is only one day, primaries two at the most ­
many citizens want more involvement ­ pressure
groups provide this.
· Pressure groups also make it possible for people to
be involved in a specific area (pro-guns, anti-
abortion)…read more

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Enhance public education ­ they aim to educate the
opinion of the public ­ warning of likely effects due to
decisions or likely action from the government.
· Jeffrey Berry and Clyde Wilcox commented (2007) :
`...pressure groups can make people better aware of
both policy problems and proposed solutions.'…read more

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great notes, do you have any for racial and ethnic politics

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