Explain Why Global Stratification Appears To Be More Of An Economic System Than A Social System

Explain Why Global Stratification Appears To Be More Of An Economic System Than A Social System

Global stratification is an order for arranging countries from the highest to the lowest across the world (Boundless 502). It is different from the stratification within a country where the unit of measurement are individual and families. It is represented by inequality in distribution of power, wealth and prestige. This results in clusters of people with different chances and lifestyles in the world and in particular countries (Kendall 245). Therefore, the world is partitioned into small portions with huge differences in terms of poverty and wealth. For instance, there is a huge gap between the world wealthiest nations and the poorest. Under global stratification we have countries divided into high income, middle-income countries, and low income countries. This mode of hierarchical organization of nations in terms of their control of modes of production as opposed to control of basic resources makes global stratification more of an economic system as opposed to a social system.

Wealth is one of the factors that are used to determine where a country falls within the global stratification system. There is a huge difference between countries at the top of the hierarchical system of global stratification and those trailing at the bottom end in terms of wealth. This difference is mostly measured in terms of GNI (gross national income). This is a measure of the goods and services created by country resident and non-resident citizens every year, which is then divided by the total population. This mode of stratification assumes the social system because it does not create a true picture of what individual families gets in terms of pay or wages, instead it just indicates what each citizens can get if the national income is equally shared (Andersen & Taylor 200). In the words of Max Weber social stratification is determined by looking at the life chances of an individual. This is a measure of an individual access to significant resources in the society like clothing, food, education, shelter, and healthcare. The wealthy people in the society are considered to have better life chances because they can access these basic resources. On the other hand, those who are poor do not have better life chances because their access to these basic resources is limited (Kendal 216). Therefore, the use of GNI in global stratification does not account for an individual access to these basic resources and cannot be viewed as a social system of stratification.

Global stratification results in categorization of the nations in the world into three broad categories. The first category is the high income countries, which encompasses nations that are advanced in terms of technologies in service, administrative, and industrial occupations, highly industrialized, and with relatively high levels of per capita and national incomes. The second category is middle-income that encompasses nations with industrializing economies mostly in urban set ups and with moderate levels of individual and national income. The last category involves the low-income counties, which encompasses countries based on agricultural economy and that are not highly industrialized and having low personal and national income. According to Kendall in some of the poorest nations a fifth of the entire population that is the poorest gets only a slight percentage of the national income. For instance, nations like Bolivia, Brazil, and Honduras have only 3 percent of the entire country income going to the poorest people in their country (246). Accordingly we can see that this economic method of ranking countries according to the national level development either in terms of income or industrialization does not consider distribution of the national income to the citizens. It is therefore, more of an economic stratification method that focuses on the modes of production alone and does not look at other factors influencing inequalities.

Global stratification is also a hierarchical organization of countries in the world according to their economic power. Under the system individual countries are organized into three subsystems depending on their control of economic power. The first one is the core countries sub-system that encompasses nations that controls and make hugest gains from the world system. This is followed by semi peripheral countries which are at the middle and directly involved in creation of profits from the poor nations and then passing on the same to the core countries. The peripheral countries are at the bottom of the global stratification system and they have critical resources that core countries exploit (Andersen & Taylor 231).

Besides, global stratification describes effects of the global economy on the world inequalities. It has led to an increased concern that jobs are being sent to oversee counties. In United States many unions and environmentalist have come together to protest that some trade policies are endangering workers rights and jobs as well as leading to environmental degradation. Some businesses have seen increased resistance from locals because they are considered a threat to the social value system and as promoting global consumerism. Through global stratification some commodities like toys and clothes are produced in one country but sold in others. Through global outsourcing some job are sent overseas. It is not easy to determine the extent of global outsourcing because it has been widely adopted across businesses. It is common when people engage others in a foreign country to arrange their tour or make internet or telephone transactions, among others. Russia and China are the major players in the global outsourcing. This practice has both negative and positive consequences on the host nation with advantages like low cost of personnel for companies and lost job opportunities for the locals. Nevertheless, this has led to a greater interconnectedness of world economic systems (Andersen & Taylor 200).

Global stratification generally refers to a system that depicts inequalities in distribution of resources across the world. Each individual country position in this system is determined by its relationship with others. It is more of an economic system than a social system that reflects inequalities in terms of access to basic resources. This is because countries are usually ranked depending on their wealth, per capita or gross national income, which do not necessary show how individuals in these nations have access to basic resources. Under the system nations are also ranked as high-income, middle-income, or low-income countries. In other cases they are ranked based on their economic powers as core countries, semiperipheral countries or peripheral countries. Therefore, global stratification results in classification of people according to economic lines as opposed to their shared socio-economic conditions. It is mainly focusing on the economic factors that contributes to inequalities in the world, but does not look at the political, social, or ideological factors shaping these inequalities. It clearly shows the economic gaps existing between different nations in the world by ranking them according to their economic power.

Works Cited

Andersen, Margret L. & Taylor, Howard Francis. Sociology: The Essentials, 7th ed.: The Essentials. Cengage Learning. (2011). Print.

Boundless. Sociology. Boundless. (2013). Print

Kendal, Diana. Sociology in Our Times, 9the ed. Cengage Learning. (2011). Print.

Kendall, Diana. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials: The Essentials. Cengage Learning. (2010). Print.