InDesign offers character-level formatting and paragraph-level formatting. Character-level formatting only impacts the text that you select, paragraph-level formatting always impacts the entire paragraph.
Alignment is a paragraph-level command as is applying a paragraph style. You can assign a character style to selected text.
For example, the Control panel has two views for formatting text: the A is character view (you must highlight) and the ¶ is paragraph view (always applied to the entire paragraph).
Paragraph view (the alignment commands and the paragraph styles list are both outlined)