- The nations of the world differ dramatically in wealth and other resources, with the poorest nations being found in Africa and parts of Asia.
- To understand global stratification, it is useful to classify the world’s nations into three categories: wealthy nations, middle-income nations, and poor nations. The middle category is often subdivided into upper-middle-income nations and lower-middle-income nations.
- Several measures of global poverty and global inequality help us to understand the nature and extent of global stratification and identify the nations most in need of help.
- Global poverty has a devastating impact on the lives of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Poor nations have much higher rates of mortality and disease and lower rates of literacy.
- Global poverty especially affects women and children, who suffer in many ways from the effects of poverty in poor nations.
- Modernization theory attributes global poverty to the failure of poor nations to develop the necessary beliefs, values, and practices to achieve economic growth.
- Dependency theory attributes global poverty to the colonization and exploitation by European nations of nations in other parts of the world.
- A sociological perspective suggests that efforts to reduce global poverty need to address continuing exploitation of poor nations by wealthy nations and multinational corporations, and that these efforts will succeed to the extent that they also reduce ethnic and gender inequality.
Three months ago, you began a job as a policy assistant to one of the two U.S. senators from your home state. The senator is helping to draft a bill for foreign aid assistance for poor countries and reasons that most of the aid should be aimed at helping men find jobs, since these countries are patriarchal and might resent aid that helps women find jobs. What do you tell your senator when your opinion is solicited?