Attitudes Toward the Legal System Among Members of Low and High Status Groups in Israel
25 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2005
Date Written: June 1, 2005
This paper presents surveys examining the effect of group status in Israeli society on attitudes toward the legal system. Three cross-sectional telephone surveys compared the attitudes of veteran Israeli Jews (N = 2,680), representing a high status group, with the attitudes of Israeli Arabs (N = 1,507) and Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (N = 464), representing lower status groups. The results show that compared to veteran Israeli Jews, Arabs and immigrants attributed less procedural justice to law-enforcement authorities, felt less obliged to comply with the law, believed more strongly in the supremacy of other laws over state laws, and were more willing to take the law into their own hands when their interests seemed threatened. The results are discussed in regard to minority group members' motivation to maintain a positive self-image.
Keywords: compliance with the law, status, social identity
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