Spurred on by the recent “Occupy” protests, class conflict has become an increasing part of the public discourse.

This is reflected in a new poll from the Pew Research Center, which finds the percentage of Americans who see conflict between the rich and poor as a problem has jumped significantly over the last two years.

In 2009, Pew found that 47 percent saw “strong” or “very strong” societal conflicts between the rich and poor. In late 2011, that percentage had rise to 66. The jump was evident in just about every major demographic group.

Interestingly, despite this greater consciousness of income inequality, Pew didn’t find that the public’s perception of the rich, and the legitimacy of their wealth, has changed between 2009 and today.

[Pew Research Center]