Global Inequalities

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Group A, Class 1 Introduction to Sociology
Final Essay
Which of the following perspectives offers the most convincing explanation for the existence of global inequalities: modernization theory, dependency theory or world-systems theory? 4 July 2012

Which of the following perspectives offers the most convincing explanation for the existence of global inequalities: modernization theory, dependency theory or world-systems theory?

Globalization has had both a positive and negative impact throughout the world. An interconnectedness within the world where complicated issues can arise creating an unevenness that can contribute to a societies as well as the individuals happiness in life (El-Ojelli, 2006:p1). The negative impacts of globalization can be seen as inequalities spread throughout the world today. This essay will first explore global inequalities, next the three main perspectives of global inequality will be compared including, modernization theory, dependency theory, and world systems theory; following this comparison will be the argument that the dependence and world systems theory are very similar and that they are the two theories which best explain the existence of global inequalities.

Global inequality can often be a topic that is overlooked in core countries such as the United States and Western Europe. However, global inequalities can be found in many peripheral countries like Africa as well some Latin American countries. Inequalities can be measured in various ways. These methods can include the GDP (gross domestic product) and GNP (gross national product) as well as HDI (human development index). GDP refers to the income earned by the value of goods and services produced by the people who live within the countries borders, GNP refers to the capital such as foreign earnings from any corporations, businesses or individuals outside of the country, where as HDI offers more in-depth measurements of inequalities such as life expectancy, education, standards of living as well as human satisfaction (Macionis and Plummer, 2012:p 286).

Some inequalities in the world include areas like, income, wealth, poverty, literacy, crime, drugs, gender inequality as well as health related issues. Because of global inequalities between the rich and the poor, humans who are poor experience poverty, poor sanitation, and world hunger (Macionis and Plummer, 2012:p 306). Even though the world’s wealthiest countries are becoming wealthier, global inequalities are still growing. World hunger and poverty is a couple of the largest issues in the world, about twenty percent of the worlds population lives on one percent of the worlds income (Macionis and Plummer, 2012:p 285). The global economies development has increased which can be seen as a positive, however, the rise in the economy only goes to the rich creating larger barriers between the rich and the poor societies (Macionis and Plummer, 2012: p309). These inequalities can be found in many third world countries, where often a high population, low life expectancy and poor housing can be found. Among the global inequalities comes the capital from which is made in under developed countries and has divided the wealthy nations from the poor.

A few models of development in global inequalities can be found, these include modernization theory, dependency theory, and the world systems theory. The first theory explained is the modernization theory. The modernization theory is much different than the last two perspectives on models of development. In this theory societies are brought together by modernization. There are four phases of modernization which show the different areas of growth, these phases are a traditional stage of society, a take off stage, a drive to technological maturity, and a stage which shows a high mass of consumption (Rostow,1990:p 4). Throughout these phases of modernization in societies where this theory has been introduced the development in the world is...
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