Types Of Interest Groups

When a group of people comes together thus forming a voluntary association that promotes a certain cause, it is called an interest group. There are many types of interest groups, their number being proportionate to the number of common causes. The various types of interest groups range from simple neighborhood associations and professional associations, up to civil rights groups, charitable organizations, or even large corporations.

Now, let’s take a look at the most common types of interest groups. The first name on the list are public interest groups. A public interest group, as the name suggests, takes an interest in social issues, and in general issues of public concern. Public interest groups oppose lobbying interests and their activity aims at promoting the common good. A typical example of a public interest group would be a group that launched a campaign putting pressure on the government to reduce the value added tax on certain products, thus promoting consumer’s rights.

Professional groups are another common type of interest group. It makes sense that people who work in the same field come together in order to solve their common problems, set up tendencies and norms for their profession, and advocate for their rights. The American Bar Association, for instance, not only can it provide legal advice on political issues, but it can also affect the nomination of judges.

Other common types of interest groups are: environmental interest groups, ideological groups, and one issue groups. One issue groups are one of the oldest types of interest groups in the United States, since they existed before the 1960s that group activity became more organized, systematic, and institutionalized. Environmental interest groups, on the other hand, have been around for no more than one or two decades. The concerns raised by the scientific community for the future of this planet, its energy resource and their effective management, as well as pollution and the increase of temperature on a global level, spurred the formation of such groups which advocate for a better world. As for ideological interest groups, they are concerned with everyday issues like abortion, homosexuality, political ideologies, and wish to take an ethical stand. The purpose of these groups is to create a solid moral ground that will counterbalance the instability caused by declining values.

Out of the numerous types of interest groups, special interest groups are also worth mentioning. Such groups take an interest in promoting a very advanced area of specialization like that of knowledge, learning, and education without really being concerned with the politics involved.

Other types of interest groups include but are not limited to: agricultural groups, which promote the interests of farmers; labor unions that protect the rights of workers (depending on the type of job there are analogous types of interest groups); as well as religious groups, that wish to affect governmental policies in favor of their own religious beliefs and institutions. All in all, the various types of interest groups have a positive influence in a society, since they act as a counterbalancing force.