SOC100H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: International Inequality, Social Inequality, World Economy

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10 Feb 2011
Chapter 12: Global Stratification
Defn: Patterns of social inequality in the world as a whole
Global Stratification: An Overview
Labelled the rich industrial countries First World”, less industrialized socialist countries the
second world”, and none-industrialized poor countries the third world”
66 high income countries: nations with the highest overall standards of living
72 middle income countries: not as rich, nations with a standard of living about average for the
world as a whole
56 low income countries: nations with a low standard of living in which most people are poor
oThis model has two advantages:
Focuses on economic development rather than whether societies are capitalist or
It gives better picture of relative economic development of various countries
because it doesn’t lump together all lower-income countries into the single third
world countries
Social stratification within every nation
High-Income Countries-roughly about 47% of Earths land
-mostly in the northern hemisphere
-about 22% of worlds people
-three quarters of people in high-income
countries live in or near cities
-significant cultural differences exist among
high-income countries
-per capita income: average income per person
per year
-people in high-income countries enjoy 80% of
worlds total income
-many low-income people live in high-income
Middle-Income Countries-per capita income of between $2500 and $10 000
-55% of people live in or near cities
-remaining 45% live in rural areas, where most are
poor and lack access to schools, medical care,
adequate housing and safe water
-72% of world’s nation come under this category
-cluster of middle income countries include those
that once made up the Soviet Union and those of
Eastern Europe
Low-Income Countries-majority of people are very poor
-mostly agrarian societies with some industry
-56 low income countries
Cover 20% of planets land
-home to about 1 billion people
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-population density is generally high
-one third of people live in cities
-home to some rich and many poor people
The Severity of Poverty
Poverty in poor countries is more severe that it is in rich countries
People in high income countries are by the most advantaged
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): value of all goods and services produced by a countrys
economy within its borders in a given year
Comparison of GDP figures shows that the worlds richest nations are thousands of times more
productive than the poorest countries
Measures of quality of life- calculated by the United Nations; based on income, education (adult
literacy and average years of schooling) and longevity (how long people live)
Relative vs. Absolute Poverty
Relative poverty: some people lack resources that are taken for granted by others; exists in every
Absolute poverty: lack of resources that is life-threatening
olack nutrition necessary for health and long-term survival
The Extent of Poverty
poverty in poor countries is more widespread than it is in North America
death rates among children in Africa indicate that absolute poverty is greatest there, where half of
the population is malnourished
Poverty and Children
death comes early in poor societies where families lack adequate food, safe water, secure housing
and medical care
dropping out of schools puts children at high risk of disease and violence
Poverty and Women
in rich societies, much of the work women do is undervalued, underpaid or overlooked
most people in sweatshops are women
tradition keeps women out of many jobs low-income nations
traditional norms in poor societies give women primary responsibility for child rearing and
maintaining household
70% of the world’s people living near absolute poverty are women
Most women in poor countries receive little or no reproductive health care
Keeps women at home with children, high birth rates, limits the economic production of country
Four types of slavery:
Chattel slavery-defn: one person owns another
-against the last almost everywhere
Child slavery-defn: desperately poor families send their children
out into the streets to beg, steal or do whatever they
can to survive
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