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Ch 12-13 - Chapter 12 Global Stratification The greatest...

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Chapter 12 Global Stratification h The greatest social inequality is not within nations but between them h Global stratification- patterns of social inequality in the world as a whole Global Stratification: An Overview h The richest 20% of global population receive about 80% of world income h The poorest fifth of the world’s people struggles to survive on just 1% of global income h The wealth of world’s richest person, Bill Gates (who earns $53 billion in 2006) equals the total economic output of the world’s 43 poorest countries h A Word about Terminology First World- the rich, industrial countries Second World- the less industrialized, socialist countries Third World- non-industrialized, poor countries The 60 high-income countries- rich nations with the highest overall standards of living 76 middle-income countries- nations with a standard of living about average for the world as a whole 57 low-income countries- nations with a low standard of living in which most people are poor The model above has 2 advantages over the older “three worlds” system It focuses on economic development rather than political structure It gives a better picture of the relative development of various countries because it does not lump together all less developed nations into a single :”Third World” h High-Income Countries People in high-income countries enjoy 79% of the world’s total income Production in rich nations is capital-intensive High-income countries control the world’s financial markets h Middle-Income Countries
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These countries have per capita income of between $2500 and $10000 roughly the median for the world’s nations One cluster of middle-income countries consists of what used to be known as the 2 nd World h Low-Income Countries These countries are mostly agrarian societies with some industry In poor countries, 1/3 of the people live in cities Half of the world’s people are farmers, most of whom follow cultural traditions h The Severity of Poverty Economic productivity is lowest in precisely the regions where population growth is highest High-income countries- 79% of global income supporting just 18% of humanity A comparison of GDP figures shows that the world’s richest nations are thousands of times more productive than the poorest countries Relative versus absolute poverty People living in rich countries generally focus on relative poverty, meaning that some people lack resources that are taken for granted by others Relative poverty exists in every society, rich or poor Absolute poverty that is life-threatening An indicator of absolute poverty is median age at death h The Extent of Poverty 15%, or 1 billion of the people suffer from chronic hunger h Poverty and Children Beg, steal, sell sex, work for drug gangs h Poverty and Women Tradition keeps women out of many jobs in low-income nations UN estimates that in poor countries, men own 90% of the land About 70% of the world’s 1 billion people living near absolute poverty is women
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