Discussion Questions

  • What is global inequality and what are key ways in which it is manifested? Aside from the aspects of inequality discussed in the chapter, what other aspects might sociologists want to look at?

  • Why do many of the world’s poorest countries also have the highest fertility rates? What sociological factors can be used to explain the correlation?

  • Can the mass adoption of modern technologies like mobile phones have an impact on poverty in developing countries? What does the chapter suggest? What other effects can you envision?

  • How do modernization theory, dependency theory, and world systems theory explain the existence and persistence of inequality between countries and regions? What are the strengths of these perspectives as analytical tools? What are their weaknesses?

  • What is meant by the term global elite? Who are the members of the global elite, and how do they differ from the upper class elites described in an earlier chapter?