Dr. Paul Shervish (50 page pdf) is good on how giving flows from identification: We care about and give to those with whom we identify. I notice that some of low or middling status tend to look up the social hierarchy and identify with their superiors, or with celebrities, and wealthy people. Sometimes the poorest and least educated people, as well as middle income people, live a life half in fantasy, as if they were good friends with the celebs they see on tv, or with wealthy people. A truck driver may be furious that rich folks have to pay a death tax. Other people high up on the scale identify passionately with those at the bottom. It pains them that anyone lives in poverty.
The maid who serves in the biggest mansion may look down on those who serve in the smaller ones. And, many a wealthy dowager weeps for the death of her maid.