Exerting Individual Political Influence

People can be exerting individual political influence on each other, even in casual interactions, as they discuss moral and political issues.

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 approaches (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 might be exerting personal political 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.  People spontaneously discuss (or try to avoid discussing) salient political issues that they have become aware of, for example: Families divided by Brexit: ‘Part of me just wants to avoid my dad completely now’.

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 of exerting individual political influence.



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/6612.htm.