10.1 Global Stratification and Classification
Consider the matter of rock-bottom prices at Walmart. What would a functionalist think of Walmart's model of squeezing vendors to get the absolute lowest prices so it can pass them along to core nation consumers?
Why do you think some scholars find Cold War terminology (“first world” and so on) objectionable?
Give an example of the feminization of poverty in core nations. How is it the same or different in peripheral nations?
Pretend you are a sociologist studying global inequality by looking at child labor manufacturing Barbie dolls in China. What do you focus on? How will you find this information? What theoretical perspective might you use?
10.2 Global Wealth and Poverty
Consider the concept of subjective poverty. Does it make sense that poverty is in the eye of the beholder? When you see a homeless person, is your reaction different if he or she is seemingly content versus begging? Why?
Think of people among your family, your friends, or your classmates who are relatively unequal in terms of wealth. What is their relationship like? What factors come into play?
Go to your campus bookstore or visit its web site. Find out who manufactures apparel and novelty items with your school’s insignias. In what countries are these produced? Conduct some research to determine how well your school adheres to the principles advocated by USAS.
10.3 Theoretical Perspectives on Global Stratification
There is much criticism that modernization theory is Eurocentric. Do you think dependency theory is also biased? Why, or why not?
Compare and contrast modernization theory and dependency theory. Which do you think is more useful for explaining global inequality? Explain, using examples.