Taken together, the sociological approaches to global poverty show us that poverty is

Learning Objectives

Describe the major disagreements of modernization theory.Describe the primary disagreements of dependency concept.

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Explanations of global stratification parallel those of U.S. stratification (see Chapter 8 “Social Stratification”) in their emphasis on individual versus structural difficulties. One type of explacountry takes an individual strategy by in result blaming the world in the pooremainder nations for their own poverty, while a 2nd explacountry takes a structural method in blaming the plight of bad nations on their treatment by the wealthiest ones. Aget tbelow is proof to assistance both types of explanations, yet many kind of sociologists favor the structural explanation. Table 9.2 “Theory Snapshot” summarizes the 2 sets of explacountries.

Table 9.2 Theory Snapshot

TheoryMajor assumptions
Modernization theoryWealthy nations ended up being rich because beforehand they were able to construct the necessary beliefs, worths, and also practices for profession, industrialization, and also fast financial development to happen. Poor countries stayed negative bereason they faibrought about construct these beliefs, worths, and also practices; rather, they ongoing to follow standard ideas and methods that stymied commercial development and modernization.
Dependency theoryThe poverty of negative nations stems from their colonization by European nations, which exploited the bad nations’ sources and also either enslaved their populations or used them as cheap labor. The colonized nations were for this reason unable to build a expert and company course that would have permitted them to enter the industrial age and to otherwise build their economic climates.

Modernization Theory

The individual explacountry is called modernization concept (McClelland, 1967; Rostow, 1990). According to this concept, well-off countries ended up being rich bereason beforehand they were able to build the “correct” beliefs, worths, and also practices—in brief, the correct culture—for profession, industrialization, and rapid financial growth to happen. These social traits incorporate a willingness to occupational tough, to abandon legacy in favor of brand-new methods of thinking and also doing points, and also to embrace a future orientation rather than one concentrated on preserving existing conditions.

Modernization concept has actually straight relevance for the experience of Western Europe. According to the concept, Western European nations started to emerge a number of centuries ago as financial powers because their populaces adopted the kinds of worths and techniques just listed. Max Weber (1904/1958), one of the founders of sociology, composed that Western Europe had the ability to perform this because the Protestant Reformation diminiburned the typical distrust of the Catholic Church for product success and social and financial change. The new Protestant ethic that Western Europeans adopted stressed the importance of tough occupational and product success in one’s life time fairly than the Church’s conventional focus on rewards in an immortality.


According to modernization theory, poor nations are bad because their world never before emerged worths such as an emphasis on difficult job-related.

United Nations Picture – OLS Brings Support to Strained Medical Services – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

According to modernization concept, nations in other parts of the world never before became well-off and remain bad this day bereason they never occurred the proper worths and practices. Instead, they ongoing to follow typical ideas and also methods that stymied commercial breakthrough and modernization.

Modernization theory has much in common with the society of poverty concept questioned in Chapter 8 “Social Stratification”. It characteristics the poverty of bad nations to their faientice to build the “proper” beliefs, values, and practices crucial for economic success both at the beginning of industrialization during the 19th century and also in the 2 centuries that have because transpired. Due to the fact that modernization concept implies that world in bad nations do not have actually the talent and capacity to enhance their lot, it drops into the functionalist explacountry of stratification.

As need to be clear, modernization theory has direct implications for strategies to minimize worldwide poverty. The concept means that world in negative nations must learn the correct ideas, worths, and methods to succeed financially. If they execute not do so, they will certainly prevent themselves from profiting as totally as possible from the financial help they acquire from wealthy countries, through much of this assist thereby being wasted.

Dependency Theory

The structural explanation for worldwide stratification is dubbed dependency theory. Not surprisingly, this theory’s views sharply obstacle modernization theory’s presumptions (Packenham, 1992). Whereas modernization theory attributes international stratification to the “wrong” social values and also practices in bad countries, dependency theory blames worldwide stratification on the exploitation of these countries by wealthy nations. According to this see, bad nations never before obtained the possibility to seek financial development because early they were overcame and also conquered by European ones. The European nations stole the poor nations’ sources and either enslaved their populations or offered them as cheap labor. They mounted their very own federal governments and often prevented the neighborhood populace from acquiring a good education. As an outcome, the colonized nations were unable to build a professional and organization class that would have actually allowed them to enter the commercial age and also to otherwise develop their economic situations. Along the method, wealthy countries marketed their own goods to colonized countries and also required them to run up substantial debt that proceeds to amount today. Since dependency concept implies that negative nations reprimary poor because of lack of chance owing to exploitation by affluent nations, it drops into the conflict perspective on stratification.

In today’s world, astronomical multinational corporations continue to manipulate the labor and resources of the poorest countries, say dependency philosophers. These corporations run sweatshops in many countries, in which employees toil in inhumane conditions at very low weras (Sluiter, 2009). Often the corporations work hand-in-hand also through corrupt officials in the poor countries to strengthen their economic stake in the countries. An instance of this dynamic occurred in the time of the 1990s in the bad western Afrideserve to nation of Nigeria, wbelow the Royal Dutch/Shell oil agency at the time was pumping fifty percent of that nation’s oil. Activists in southerly Nigeria began to claim that Shell’s oil drilling was ruining their land and that Shell was paying them as well little bit for their oil. In response to their protests, the government sent in police at Shell’s research, with Shell paying some of the police expenses. The police put down the activists’ dissent by damaging several villages and also killing 2,000 world (Lewis, 1996).

Dependency theory also has actually direct effects for strategies to reduce international poverty. Very sindicate, the concept suggests that affluent countries and multinationwide corporations should soptimal exploiting the resources of poor nations. Until that happens, bad countries will be unable to develop their organic resources and to enter the industrial age. Some dependency philosophers likewise say that poor countries need to limit their importation of items from wealthy nations, and that affluent nations have to even be forbidden from investing in negative countries.

Which renders more feeling, modernization theory or dependency theory? Just like many theories, both make sense to some level (check out the “Learning From Other Societies” box), but both have their faults. Modernization theory locations also a lot blame on poor nations for their very own poverty and also ignores the lengthy background of exploitation of negative nations by wealthy nations and multinational corporations afavor. For its part, dependency concept cannot explain why some of the pooremainder nations are negative even though they were never before European colonies; neither have the right to it define why some former colonies such as Hong Kong have been able to obtain enough financial growth to leave the rank of the pooremainder nations. With Each Other, both theories assist us understand the reasons for global stratification, however most sociologists would certainly more than likely favor dependency theory because of its emphasis on structural factors in the world’s historic and present economy.

Learning From Other Societies

Why Haiti Is So Poor: Culture or Exploitation?

In January 2010, an earthquake through a magnitude of 7.0 devaproclaimed Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the civilization. The quake supposedly eliminated even more than 200,000 people, around 2.5% of Haiti’s population, injured 300,000, and also left 1 million homemuch less. Because Haiti had ramshackle structures, a weak framework, and also insufficient public solutions, many more human being passed away or otherwise experienced from this earthquake than from earthquakes of equivalent magnitude in wealthier nations.

In the aftermath of this organic disaster, a flurry of news articles and also op-ed columns disputed why Haiti had been so poor prior to the earthquake despite initiatives by countless international agencies during the previous few years. The contrasting positions presented in these write-ups reflected the views of the modernization and dependency theories presented in the text, and they show the intricacy of understanding worldwide poverty.

Reflecting the views of modernization theory, some observers attributed Haiti’s instance to a culture of poverty. They provided that Haiti shares an island also via the Dominideserve to Republic, which is not virtually as poor as Haiti. Beyond sharing a general place and climate, the 2 nations likewise have similar histories of colonialism and also governmental corruption. Given these similarities, why, then, was Haiti so desperately poorer than the Dominican Republic?

To answer this question, Jonah Goldberg, a Los Angeles Times columnist, reasoned, “Haiti’s troubles in large part boil down to a society of poverty. Haitians do not lack the desire to make their stays much better, nor do they disapprove hard occupational. But what they sodepend absence is a legal, social and intellectual culture that favors economic development and also entrepreneurialism” (Goldberg, 2010, p. 9A). Western countries, he continued, need to carry out more than carry out assist to Haiti and other bad countries, as they need to likewise teach them “just how to sheight being bad.” People in these countries, he sassist, need to learn the principle of entrepreneurialism (the development and exercise of a business), and also they should likewise learn exactly how to be entrepreneurs.

Taking a similar stance, David Brooks, a New York Times columnist, wrote that numerous facets of the Haitian society contribute to the nation’s poverty by inhibiting its capability to achieve economic growth. First, Haitians’ voodoo religion prompts them to believe that life is unpredictable and also that planning is futile. Second, Haitians have actually high levels of social mistrust and a low sense of individual obligation. Third, parental disregard throughout early childhood is prevalent. Brooks concluded, “We’re all intended to politely respect each other’s societies. But some cultures are even more progress-resistant than others, and also a horrible tragedy was simply exacerbated by among them” (Brooks, 2010, p. A27).

Reflecting the views of dependency concept, other observers attributed Haiti’s deep poverty to its background of colonialism, which puts it at a severe disadvantage also compared to various other previously colonized nations. Michele Wucker, executive director of the World Policy Institute, and Ben Macintyre, a columnist for The Times of London, both wrote that Haiti was a rich servant swarm of France before a bloody rdevelopment won Haitians their freedom in 1804. The new nation’s economic situation then suffered for two factors. First, the radvancement ruined much of the country’s farming and facilities. Second, France offered ships to block Haitian profession and forced Haiti to pay a huge indemnity, equal to around $13 billion in today’s dollars, to gain back normal profession and also diplomatic connections. Haiti had actually to take out expensive loans from Western nations’ banks at incredibly high interest rates to carry out so. The consequence for Haiti was destructive, wrote Macintyre (2010, p. 30):

Weighed down by this financial burden, Haiti was born virtually bankrupt. In 1900 some 80 per cent of the nationwide budobtain was still being swpermitted up by debt repayments. Money that can have been invested on building a stable economy saw foreign bankers….The debt was not lastly passist off till 1947. By then, Haiti’s economic situation was hopelessly distorted, its land deforested, mired in poverty, politically and also economically unsecure, prey equally to the caprice of nature and also the crimes of autocrats.

Haiti’s plight just worsened as soon as UNITED STATE Marines lived in Haiti from 1915 to 1934 and also as soon as a collection of corrupt dictators afterward “left Haiti financially devaproclaimed,” added Wucker (Smith, 2010). In short, as one headline put it, Haiti’s dire poverty stems from a “crippling heritage of imperialism” (Macintyre, 2010).

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Where does the truth lie? Is Haiti’s poverty now due more to its culture or more to its history of colonialism and imperialism? People who favor modernization concept would certainly answer culture, and also those who favor dependency theory would answer colonialism and also imperialism. In the finish, both sets of factors more than likely matter. The dispute over Haiti’s poverty reflects that the endure of various other societies can illuminate theories of global poverty and also, in turn, aid us understand which kinds of methods organize the a lot of potential for helping bad nations.

Key Takeaways

According to modernization concept, wealthy countries became well-off because their peoples possessed specific values, beliefs, and also methods conducive to the acquisition of wealth. Poor nations stayed poor bereason their peoples did not possess these values, beliefs, and methods and also never before arisen them.According to dependency concept, bad countries have actually continued to be poor because they have been exploited by well-off countries and also by multinational corporations.

For Your Review

Which concept provides even more feeling to you, modernization theory or dependency theory? Explain your answer.What methods does modernization concept suggest for helping poor nations? What methods does dependency concept indicate for helping bad nations?
Reducing Global Stratification: What Sociology Suggests

Years of international help to bad nations have helped them rather, but, as this chapter has actually presented, their instance remains dire. Internationwide aid experts acunderstanding that initiatives to accomplish financial expansion in negative nations have mainly failed, but they disagree why this is so and what different strategies might prove even more effective (Cohen & Easterly, 2009). One trfinish has been a switch from “macro” efforts concentrating on infrastructure troubles and on social establishments such as the colleges to “micro” efforts, such as giving cash payments or little loans directly to bad world in negative nations (a practice dubbed microfinancing) and providing them bed nets to proccasion mosquito bites, yet the proof on the success of these initiatives is mixed (Bennett, 2009; The Economist, 2010). Much more obviously requirements to be done.

In this regard, sociology’s structural method is in line through dependency theory and suggests that international stratification results from the background of colonialism and by proceeding exploitation this day of negative nations’ sources by wealthy nations and multinationwide corporations. To the extent such exploitation exists, international poverty will lessen if and also only if this exploitation lessens. As the “Sociology Making a Difference” box indicated, a sociological technique also emphasizes the role that class, sex, and also ethnic inequality play in perpetuating global poverty. For worldwide poverty to be lessened, gender and also ethnic inequality have to be reduced.

Writers Kristof and also WuDunn (2009) emphadimension the must emphasis initiatives to reduce international poverty of woguys. We have already viewed one factor why this focus makes sense: women are much worse off than males in negative countries in many kind of means, so helping them is vital for both economic and also humanitarian factors. An extra factor is especially illuminating: once woguys in negative nations obtain additional money, they frequently spend it on food, garments, and also medication, essentials for their households. However before, when males in bad nations acquire added money, they often spfinish it on alcohol, tobacco, and also gambling. This gender difference can sound choose a stereokind, however it does show that help to women will aid in many kind of ways, while help to males might be much less efficient and also often even wasted.


Bennett, D. (2009, September 20). Small readjust. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/2009/2020/small_change_does_microlending_actually_fight_poverty/#.

Brooks, D. (2010, January 14). The underlying tragedy. The New York Times, p. A27.

Cohen, J., & Easterly, W. (Eds.). (2009). What functions in development? Thinking big and also thinking small. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Goldberg, J. (2010, August 3). End poverty: Export capitalism. USA Today, p. 9A.

Kristof, N. D., & WuDunn, S. (2009, August 23). The women’s crusade. The New York Times, p. MM28.

Lewis, P. (1996, February 13). Nigeria’s deadly war: Shell defends its record. The New York Times, p. 1.

Macintyre, B. (2010, January 21). The fault line in Haiti runs straight to France. The Times (London), p. 30.

McClelland also, D. C. (1967). The achieving society. New York, NY: Free Press.

Packenham, R. A. (1992). The dependency movement: Scholarship and politics in development studies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard College Press.

Rostow, W. W. (1990). The stages of economic growth: A non-communist manifesto. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Savings and also the poor: A much better mattress. (2010, March 11). Economist, 394(8673), 75–76.

Sluiter, L. (2009). Clean clothes: A worldwide motion to finish sweatshops. New York, NY: Pluto Press.

Smith, K. F. (2010, January 16). Haiti: A historic perspective. Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/2010/2001/2015/haiti-a-historical-perspective.html.

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Weber, M. (1958). The Protestant ethic and also the heart of capitalism (T. Parsons, Trans.). New York, NY: Scribner. (Initial work pubsarkariresultonline.infourned 1904).