A pressure group may be defined as an organized social interest group formed with the main aims of pursuing its interest and influencing government policies to the benefits of its members without the intention of contesting election. Pressure group use persuasion and not coercion in achieving its aims.
TYPES OF PRESSURE GROUPS
i) Economic pressure group
ii) Occupational pressure group
iii) Professional pressure group
iv) Social pressure group
v) Religious pressure group
vi) Educational pressure group
vii) Promotional pressure group
viii) Anomic group
FUNCTIONS OF PRESSURE GROUP
i) Pressure groups act as watchdog that checks the activities of government.
ii) They check maladministration and dictatorial tendency.
iii) It helps in ensuring smooth election by showing concern in every stage of election.
iv) Pressure groups contribute to the education of their members.
v) They help in increasing standard of living of their members through increase in salary in the case of occupational pressure group.
METHODS EMPLOYED BY PRESSURE GROUP IN ACHIEVING ITS AIMS
iii) Strikes and boycotts
iv) Pressure on the executives
Public opinion may be defined as the collective believe, judgment or views held by majority of the citizen of a country about public policy or action of the government. It therefore refers to what members of the public think or feel about government proposed policies or actions already taken by government.
FORMATION OF PUBLIC OPINION OR HOW PUBLIC OPINION IS FORMED
i) The mass media such as radio, television and newspapers.
ii) Social media e.g. facebook, twitter, youtube and others
ii) Rumours and gossip
iii) Pressure group
iv) Political parties
vi) Influential citizens
vii) Lecture and symposia
MEASURE OR DETERMINANT OF PUBLIC OPINION
i) Opinion poll
iv) Through mass media
v.) Public response
IMPORTANCE OF PUBLIC OPINION
i) It enables government to know what the public thinks about its policies and actions.
ii) It wakes government and its agencies from slumber
iii) It helps government in moderating her actions.
iv) It helps voters cast their votes for popular candidates.
Mass media are avenues such as newspaper, radio, television etc through which the public get information upon which they form their public opinion.
ROLES AND IMPACTS OF MASS MEDIA
i) They serve as a means of dissemination of information.
ii) It serves as a means of educating the citizens.