Interest Groups in Texas

Why Do We Form Interest Groups?

Political scientists point to three major reasons people form interest groups. The first involves material benefits. It’s fair to say Americans probably join the nation’s largest interest group – AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) – not to stand up for the rights of retired people, but in order to get discounts on insurance, as well as other products and services. For most of its history, the National Rifle Association was more about safety classes and insurance discounts that political advocacy.

The second reason involves solidary benefits. There’s something very special about getting together with other people who do what you do for a living.

Whether you’re a police ocer, and apartment manager or a dentist, colleagues can learn from each other, discuss best practices and share stories only another person in their business can truly appreciate.

Finally, there are purposive benefits – the satisfaction of working together with others toward a common cause. Members of groups like the Sierra Club or Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are motivated primarily by the satisfaction of working with other like-minded people to support a specific cause.

Interest Group Formation: Crash Course Government and Politics #43