Why do people conform?

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Dear Reader,
The main point of my paper is to show the underlining reasons as to why people confirm to different forms of government structures, democracy and authoritarian, based on their economic background. I attempt to do this by working backwards, first I show why they would revolt or protest, and then I extrapolate the reasons why they followed the regime in the first place. Before reading my paper, my readers probably think that each class supports the government for money and survival. However, after reading my paper, my readers will think that the reasons for support are become more self-serving than basic human rights as a person climbs the economic ladder. I believe a strength of my paper is the idea is engaging and the evidence is there to support it. However, I did struggle with presenting my information in a more concise manner. As I wrote my paper I realized that there were a variety of ways that I could have structured the paper. The structure of my paper convolutes my thesis, but I do believe the general idea is there. A stronger structure and a more concise thesis would benefit my paper greatly. Do to a weak thesis, I had trouble writing my conclusion, I would like for my reader to maybe suggest some ideas as to how I can bring all of my ideas together to make a greater statement.

Thank you,
Michael Galathe
What Causes an Economic Group to Conform?
Michael Galathe- Pitzer College
December 9, 2013

There are three distinct groups that society is broken up into based on economics: lower class, middle-class, and upper class. The lower class are generally filled with the manual laborers or the uneducated; the middle class is filled with varying ranking military officials; while the upper class is filled with politicians or businessmen. These economic groups contain a wider variety of people and are interchangeable depending on the country and the political structure. However, each economic group, although ruled under the same government structure, are affected differently by political pressures. These pressures create opportunities and even give a certain degree of power to one group, while oppressing another. However, all three groups are presented with opportunities and oppression generated by the government. The lower class may receive a free education or health care as in Soviet Russia or present day China, but are exploited or swept aside by laws and government officials as in Nigeria or present day Russia. The middle class is able to have a louder voice in political matters depending on the type of government and the upper class have the greatest power within the political realm, yet both of these classes share the same drawback, if they decide to speak against the government they run the risk of losing everything. In an authoritarian regime these pros and cons are much more pronounced, but they are present in a democratic government as well. Most scholars look at the risk posed for the groups and explore why they choose to revolt and why they choose to stay complacent. Although the pros at first glance seem more lucrative than opposing, scholars represent both overt and covert reasons for each group to revolt against the government.

In this paper I will examine how “members of economically disadvantaged groups” perpetuate “working class authoritarianism” (Napier and Jost, 2008); I will also look at Sharon Erickson Nepstad’s article looking at different factors that cause military defections; the major labor movement presented by Kevin Gray; and finally looking at the political role people in power had in the fall of the military-authoritarianism government in Bangladesh. Each article focuses on a different economic class, giving incite into the benefits each group has for going against the government in one form or another. Through Gray’s broad approach to the effectiveness of labor movements and the role that politicians played in the fall of the military-authoritarianism government in...
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