Social Class

Rigid class and caste patterns in general tend to hinder the acceptance of change. In highly stratified societies, people are expected to obey and take orders from those in superior positions based on wealth, power, and/or prestige. The upper strata jealously guard their prerogatives of the upper strata and often resent and resist attempts by lower socioeconomic groups to infringe upon these prerogatives. In most cases, for the upper classes, there is a tendency to cherish the old ways of doing things and to adhere to the status quo, precisely because they do very well under the status quo.

In the United States, working-class people tend to agree more readily that legal intervention is necessary to rectify certain deleterious social conditions, such as guaranteeing employment opportunities (Beeghley, 2007). By contrast, upper-class people are more likely to oppose government intervention in this regard. The larger idea is that social class may affect the degree to which individuals and groups will oppose the change intended by a new law.

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