Global stratification speaks to the presence of hierarchy among groups and individuals worldwide, due to the unequal distribution of various resources and benefits.


Our global society is stratified according to socioeconomic status. An individual’s social and economic level varies according to his or her occupation, education, wealth, income, and family status. Because of global stratification, people in different nations experience different conditions. Some groups have less access to specific resources or educational opportunities, and, consequently, experience a lower standard of living.

The primary cause of global stratification has been debated among theorists. The modernization theory contends that nations at the bottom levels of the hierarchy stay there because they stick to traditional economic systems and governments. Another argument blames colonialism because of its domination of previously sovereign nations.

Global stratification has various effects on the world’s population. First, it has a significant influence on the opportunities that people have in their lives. Receiving a proper education, growing up in healthy conditions, or having access to other social benefits are not available to every citizen of every nation. Moreover, the presence of diseases is more common within poorer communities, which can lead to higher infant mortality, for example. In addition, a middle-class American family with an average income lives a much more comfortable life than many middle-class African families. The hierarchical nature of our global society leads to distinct conditions and consequences for many groups of people, varying from healthy environments with access to education to horrible circumstances with no clean water for children to drink.