global stratification

1. What is Global Stratification? please quote from the textbook.

2. Compare and contrast World System Theory with Neocolonialism. What are some strengths and some weakness of these two theories? Please quote the textbook.


According to our textbook, Global Stratification is defined as “a system in which groups of people are divided into layers according to their relative property, power, and prestige” (231). Although, it is important to understand that this does not refer to individuals but is a way of ranking large groups of people into a hierarchy according to their relative privileges. It results from their differences in wealth, power, and prestige. It is also important to point out that some societies have more inequalities than others, but social stratification is universal. Within this society, there are four major systems: slavery, caste, estate, and class.

As defined in the textbook, World System Theory is “a theory of how economic and political connections developed and now tie the world’s countries together” (254). According to this theory, industrialization led to four groups of nations: core, semi-peripheral, peripheral, and external area. The core nations are countries that have industrialized the first and grew to be rich and powerful as well (Britain, France, Holland, and, later, Germany). The semi-peripheral nations are located around the Mediterranean and soon became trapped due to the fact that they grew dependent on trade with the core nations. The peripheral nations, or commonly known as the fringe nations, developed even less, which are the Eastern European countries that sold cash crops to the core nations. The fourth and final group, the external areas, are made up of nations that include Africa and Asia, they were “left out of the development of capitalism altogether” (255).

As for the other theory, Neocolonialism, is what took place when colonialism fell out of style. It is defined as, “the economic and political dominance of the Least Industrialized Nations by the Most Industrialized Nations” (257). It refers to the theory that existing or former economic relationships are used to maintain control of former colonies after receiving formal independence. In comparison, World Systems Theory and Neocolonialism lean towards the powerful and more industrialized nations. As the World Systems Theory gears their focus on their core nations, the countries that were industrialized first, leaving other nations, especially the external areas, astray and completely out of the development of capitalism. In similarity, Neocolonialism simply refer to the involvement of powerful countries in the affairs of less powerful countries, for instance, “the capital they need to develop their own industries goes instead as payments toward the debt, which becomes bloated with mounting interest. Keeping these nations in debt forces them to submit to trading terms dictated by the neocolonialists” (257). In this sense, Neocolonialism implies a form of economic imperialism, whereas World Systems Theory and its current expansion of capitalism has changed the relationships among the nations, which is where the contrast lies.

I find that the strengths of World Systems theory is that production and trade have become significantly interconnected that events around the globe affects all of us, and at times, the act even becomes immediate as well. A strength of Neocolonialism is what is referred to in the text, “by selling them goods on credit—especially weapons that the local elites desire so they can keep themselves in power” (257). The weakness that both theories significantly contain is the production of unequal economic relations among all nations and within the world system.

I don’t have the textbook but if you want you can easily find it online: Textbook: Sociology: A Down to Earth Approach, 13th edition–ebook,ISBN-13: 978-0134253350 .

If you didn’t find it just use the example for page numbers and information but PLEASE don’t copy and paste.

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