Exerting Personal Influence

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/6612.htm)

People can influence others, even in casual interactions.  They can influence each other’s moral values (4.3.3), which in turn affect the other’s political preferences.  More directly, they can try to influence other people’s views on political ideologies and approached (6.2.1) and which policies and politicians to support.

Some political influence might be exerted within families, and family pressures can be very strong, but people should still make their own political choices:

  • Married couples may make different choices.
  • Children become increasingly capable of making their own choices (as formalised in democracies by the age at which they can vote).

People can also exert influence when they interact with others in the many groups they belong to, either formally or informally, because of shared interests, activities and cultural background.

Political influence from other members of a group depends upon the strength of the relationship ( and upon the nature of the shared interest:

  • Religion might influence some people (, politically as well as morally.
  • People share economic concerns with their work colleagues.
  • People are influenced by others whom they meet socially, particularly if some political views are fashionable in those circles.

In summary, politically interested individuals have lots of opportunity to persuade others to think the same way.