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Chapter 7 : Global Stratification
Transcript of Chapter 7 : Global Stratification
Social Stratification =
Structuring or ranking of large scale groups depending on power, prestige, and property.
Can be analyzed from global, national, or local perspectives
Social stratification only refers to large groups; it is too macro of an approach to "rank" individuals
Social stratification is universal; all societies have a structured distribution of resources
The five major forms of social stratification are :
the process by which a person is owned by another
Rare in hunter/gatherer societies and most common in agricultural societies (Rowthorn et al., 2011).
Four common factors of slavery :
Indentured Service :
Voluntarily selling oneself in a contractual agreement that is similar to slavery
Slavery in America
American colonists purchased African slaves from European slavers.
Does racism lead to slavery or slavery lead to racism? (Henslin, 2013)
norms or beliefs that justify social inequalities by making them seem natural or required
American slavers used the ideology that their slaves were lesser than or not even human (
American slavery was unique in that it was
; few other cultures shared this trait
Slavery in Modern Times
North Western countries in Africa still experience higher than average rates of slavery
Slave trafficking continues to exist at higher rates in African and Asian countries
Female children often are a primary target for sex slave trafficking
In 2014, Nigeria made international headlines when 300 school girls were kidnapped and forced into slavery.
Another example of ascribed status
Status is determined by birth and cannot change
cultural norm where people must marry within their own group/caste
India was the largest and longest lasting example of a caste system that was religiously based and ranked castes by occupational prestige
South Africa's caste system was racially based
Developed in Europe during the middle ages
only firstborn sons inherited land.
Owned and oversaw land while investing in workers to perform the agricultural duties
A little more fluidity between estates than castes
Highest amount of flexibility and transition between classes
Based on monetary value
Social Mobility :
Trait common in class system where people are able to ascend or descend the classes
Argued impossible to climb too far up social ladder
How many multimillionaires descend the social ladder?
As the global economy has become more connected, the richest group has become more cohesive
About 6,000 people belong in the wealthiest group
A majority of the global superclass consists of white men and their families
Creation of classes
Means of production:
Marx proposed that the people who had the tools, land, and machinery were the upper class
Class Consciousness :
Marxist statement that people are aware of the stratification in the workforce and are consciously aware of their place in the system.
Weber's three components of social class :
Instead of trying to discount Marx or Weber, try to meld the two ideas together
1st - 3rd World:
Outdated method of ranking the global nations in a stratified manner. Collectively agreed that terms were not neutral enough.
Current global stratification descriptors for countries
Most Industrialized :
Primarily capitalistic, Examples are the United States, France, UK, Japan, and Australia. Large discrepancies in wealth distribution.
Examples include former Soviet Union countries and eastern European countries. Key characteristic = better quality of life than least industrialized but still sub-par compared to most industrialized countries.
Least Industrialized :
Highest population in rural areas, largest amounts of poverty, and 68% of the world's population live in least industrialized countries. Little or no access to basic resources such as running water, electricity, or medical care. Highest rates of population growth
Origins of Global Stratification
Industrialism spreading their influence and dominance to less industrialized nations.
Example = Dutch and English rule of India
Colonized country often provided means of production for less industrialized nation in return for control of resources
Colonized countries often drastically change or remove cultures when they enter the less industrialized countries.
Industrialized countries have often created distinct, artificial land boundaries that have resulted in geographical disputes for generations
Indirectly caused thousands of geographical refugees
Origins of Global Stratification
World System Theory :
Industrialization creates four types of nations
Core Nations :
Countries that were industrialized first (France, Germany, Holland)
Developed, but highly dependent on core nations ( Example = Greece)
Countries less developed, focused on selling agriculture/resources to core nations. Example = Albania
External Area :
Countries that are not industrialized. A majority of these countries are in Africa or Asia.
Globalization of Capitalism :
The global perspective that most countries have been influenced by and participate in the global economy.
Four systems of stratification
Culture of Poverty
Stratification and Status
The belief that a society is based only on merit. This implies that people would improve in society due to their hard work. Meritocracy is an ideal cultural belief meaning no society is structured on it.
Two examples we have that are somewhat close to meritocracy are the military and academic performance. Both of these are still influenced by other factors besides work ethic, though.
the term used to describe how strict a culture is stratified.
High Status Consistency
means the culture does NOT allow people to increase their rank.
Low Status Consistency
describes cultures where people can change their social ranking.
Standard of Living:
based on income, employment, class, poverty rates, and housing rates. The higher the standard of living, the more access to resources.
As the economy improves, it is common for there to be an increase in the standard of living. If prices go up, the government tends to adjust for inflation by increasing wages.
the concept that there may be a change in status between generations (e.g., the past three generations have increased in status with each new generation). Most common form of status change.
a change in social class for the same generation (e.g., when Oprah went from living in a shack in Pearl, MS to now being a billionaire in Chicago in the same lifetime). Much rarer.
Additional Stratified Terms
the concept that a WHOLE GROUP of people will experience a change in status.
During the Great Depression, everybody in the middle and lower classes experienced financial problems. This is an example of structural mobility.
When a company in a town closes down and thousands of people become unemployed that is structural mobility.
Globally, when a factory closes in America, the workers who become unemployed experienced
downward structural mobility
. The factory moves to Mexico and hires all new workers. This large group of people will experience
upward structural mobility
Structural Mobility influences lower classes instead of upper classes.
Factors of Global Stratification
When the planet was more isolated, global stratification was not a concept. Interaction of different groups was necessary for stratification to occur.
Many sociologists and historians argue that the Industrial Revolution is responsible for the differences in stratification that the world has now.
Countries that embraced the Industrial Revolution experienced an increase in standard of living whereas the countries that did not use technology experienced little to no growth. This caused a sharp difference in cultural standards of living.
The more powerful countries (e.g., England, Germany, France, America, etc) started taking advantage of the resources from less industrialized countries. The more powerful countries became richer instead of the less industrialized countries (this is colonialism).
a global initiative to reduce worldwide poverty. The United Nations asked that industrialized countries donate .7% of their gross national icome to developing countries. http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/index.htm
GDP (Gross Domestic Product):
a country's average national wealth per person. This is the most common measurement for standard of living.
The GDP is mainly calculated by adding the income of all citizens in the nation.
GNI (Gross National Income):
a measurement to determine if the country can outsource good for sell.
PPP (Purchasing Power Parity):
a measurement that determines if a country can afford to import goods.
Steps to Reduce Global Inequality
The United Nations created the Millennium Development Goals. The idea was to reduce global inequality.
Eradicate Extreme Povery and Hunger
Universal Primary Education
Gender Equality and Empower Women
Reduce Child Mortality
Improve Maternal Health
Reduce HIV/AIDS and malaria
Ensure Environmental Sustainablity
through global stratification analysis, researchers can confirm that different nations have drastically different standards of living.
Factors commonly associated with nations experiecing higher rates of inequality: higher infant morality rates, lower life expectancy, prejudice and discrimnation, war, human rights violations (genital mutaliation, sex trafficking, rape, etc), and gender inequality.
this is the concept of well established countries sending their corporations to developing countries. As we mentioned, this is a profit for the companies because they can pay lower wages and avoid many labor laws.
In the situation of Capital Flight, the "winning group" is the corporation. Americans lose jobs and the developing country gains jobs. This often incites racist beliefs and arguments among American workers.
We have to understand that placing blame on starving people who chose to work is pointless. The corporations are the ones who created the problem!!
the argument that since corporations are allowed to move overseas, this dramatically reduces the employment numbers in the original country.
for decades now, countries have been borrowing money from each other to offset various debts. It has in a way become more of a problem than help (who owes America, who does America owe?)
In developing countries, infants breast feeding are the healthiest children.
Given lacking resources, once children are weaned they experience malnutrition in many developing countries.
1/3 of the world's children suffer from malnutrition.
across the board malnutrition resulting from a complete lack in nutrients.
malnourishment most commonly shown in commercials. Distended stomach due to a
lack of protein in diet.
These two diseases cause lifelong developmental problems for physical and intellectual traits.
Global Examples of Poverty