According to system justification theory, people desire not only to hold favorable attitudes about themselves (ego-justification) and the groups to which they belong (group-justification), but also to hold positive attitudes about the overarching social structure in which they are entwined and find themselves obligated to (system-justification). This system-justifying motive sometimes produces the phenomenon known as out-group favoritism, an acceptance of inferiority among low-status groups and a positive image of relatively higher status groups. Thus, the notion that individuals are simultaneously supporters and victims of the system-instilled norms is a central idea in system justification theory. Additionally, the passive ease of supporting the current structure, when compared to the potential price (material, social, psychological) of acting out against the status quo, leads to a shared environment in which the existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred. Alternatives to the status quo tend to be disparaged, and inequality tends to perpetuate.
Bab·bitt | \ˈba-bət
A narrow-minded, self-satisfied conformist with an unthinking deference to official orthodoxy and institutional authority.