Describe the theory that colonialism explains how the world’s nations became stratified. (550 words minimum)
Use details and examples from the text and outside sources, if you choose.
Colonialism is defined as one nation taking over another with the aims of exploiting resources or sourcing for labor. It is further defined as the acquisition, maintenance, expansion, and establishment of a protectorate by countries from other territories. The burden of poverty among the nations may be attributed to social inequality and economic inequality. The inequality degree is higher in countries with high industrialization. Two theories can be used to explain how world nations became stratified. These theories are; modernization theory and dependency theory.
Modernization theory explains that most countries are rich because they were able to discover the right beliefs, practices, and values. These countries were able to develop the right ideas for trade, economic growth, and industrialization to occur. The traits include abandoning outdated cultural practices and adopting new ideas and adopting future orientation, rather than remaining conservative to the present ideas. Modernization is more relevant to Western Europe. The countries in Western Europe emerged centuries ago because their population adopted the new culture and values. This was possible because the Protestant Deformations dealt a blow to the traditional mistrust of the Catholic Church’s material success economic and social change and material success in the lifetime of the individuals rather than the traditional beliefs from the church that people would be rewarded in the afterlife. Poor nations are therefore remained poor because they did not abandon the old ideas to pave ways for new practices and beliefs.
Dependency theory is another explanation of the relationship between colonialism and stratification. However, this theory challenges the theory of modernization sharply. As much as the modern stratification blames the poor countries for being conservative and not adopting new cultural practices, Dependency theory states the contrary. The latter theory blames the rich countries for exploiting the poor countries and therefore hindering their economic growth. The poor countries were colonized by the wealthy European countries and thus denied the chance to develop economically. The European nations stole the poor nation’s natural resources and enslaved the population or exploited them for cheap labor. The European governments took over the poor nations denied them proper education.
The two theories despite their differences have their advantage and faults. The modernization theory blames the poor countries for not adopting new ways, values, and practices. The theory however fails to see the exploitation these poor countries faced when they were colonized by the wealthy European countries and also the international companies. On the other hand dependency theory cannot explain how countries that were never colonized are still poor up to date. The theory also does not explain how countries such as Hong Kong that were colonized are too wealthy to be grouped as poor right now. Both theories clearly explain stratification, Sociologists however prefer dependency theory because it emphasizes social structure in the global current and historic Economy.
As the world grew, so to did the ideas which existed within each nations respective borders. As colonialism and expansion took place, these ideas and practices were shot-gunned all over the world, which resulted in varying levels of inequality and unequal distribution of resources and opportunity. As richer nations continued to gain influence in new parts of the world, they depended on the poorer nations to continue operating under them instead of along side of them. This unfortunately ensured stability and growth for the developed nations of the world and solidified their position of dominance on the countries they reigned over.
Modernization and globalization both refer to this interconnectedness of countries to the overall global economy. Though colonialism has dwindled away, its processes and structures remain across the globe. Many of the nations which are considered developing are directly tied to the success and well-being of more developed countries. This usually happens through a process of exploitation in which the wealthy (core countries) keep the poor (peripheral countries) at arms reach through unjust economic policies. Many poor nations have grown massive debts and dependencies to outside entities and are becoming less equipped to fight inequalities and injustices as a result.
Outsourcing is also a major contributor to the stratification of the worlds nations. Because laws vary by country, certain industries look elsewhere to cut back on operating costs and increase their profitability in whatever they’re doing. Because the world is becoming increasingly connected thanks to the internet, outsourcing tech jobs to other parts of the globe to support U.S. based entities have contributed to the growing divisions of labor both in our country and abroad.
Because the rich continue to get richer, the global network of power is mainly tied to the wealthiest and most developed countries and the economic and social disparities between nations will continue to grow unless steps are taken to improve the process of globalization.