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Chapter 8: Global Stratification and Demography

8.7 Test Your knowledge

1. Global stratification refers to the unequal distribution of wealth, power, prestige, resources and influence among the world’s nations. There are different ways in which the world’s countries have been labelled in terms of their rank in the global stratification system. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has developed one of the more comprehensive ways to classify countries, called the Human Development Index (HDI). Discuss the criteria used by the UNDP to determine the Human Development Index number for countries and explain where countries with high, medium and low HDI numbers are located regionally.

2. Another global stratification classification scheme involves looking at the economic level of nations, dividing the world’s countries into high-income nations, middle-income nations and low-income nations. Outline the major traits of each of these categories of nations and discuss where these nations are located regionally.

3. Absolute poverty is the level of poverty at which an individual is struggling to meet basic needs, such as having adequate nutrition and shelter. It’s also defined as a person living on $1.90 per day or less than $694 per year. Around 9% or the world’s population live in absolute poverty. These individuals typically live in rural communities, work in farming, are young and poorly educated. Another measure of poverty is the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). Discuss the indicators used to calculate the Multidimensional Poverty Index and summarize the findings on poverty when the MPI is used.

4. What are the consequences of global poverty and global inequality on life expectancy, child mortality, malnutrition, adult literacy, gender inequality and child exploitation.

5. There are two theories in your text that offer explanations for global stratification, including the modernization theory (a functionalist theory) and the dependency theory (a conflict theory). Which of these theories do you think best explains global stratification? Why?

6. Demography is the study of the changes in the size and composition of human populations. What are the three main demographic factors used by demographers to understand the human population and to predict future population change? Explain each factor.

7. A replacement level fertility is 2.1. What does this mean, and why is this an important figure in understanding population growth or decline?

8. What are the patterns of global population throughout human history? What is the current global population size and what predictions have been made for the future global population size?

9. Which of the theories of population growth, outlined in your chapter, do you think most accurately explains global population growth? Why?

10. The population pyramids below represent the different population patterns found in pre-industrial (stage 1), early industrial (stage 2), mature industrial (stage 3) and post-industrial (stage 4) societies.  Explain patterns in birth and death rates for each of these population pyramids, then provide an explanation for why these patterns occur.

Graphic showing the 4 population pyramid shapes. Stage one is a concave triangle, stage 2 is an equilaterial triange, stage three is shaped like a haystack and stage four looks like a hastack with narrowing at the bottom.

SuzanneKn – Public domain – Wikimedia Commons



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Exploring Our Social World: The Story of Us by Jean M. Ramirez, Suzanne Latham, Rudy G. Hernandez, and Alicia Juskewycz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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