5 June 2011. Unequal Life Chances: People on Earth share the same world, though there are great differences in their standards of living in different parts of the world. Although the contemporary world has largely become a global village, yet the differences between lifestyles of people of one nation as well as of people belonging to different nations have sustained and have remained unaltered in general…
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These differences do not allow the people to avail equal life chances. In fact, some people have no chances at all to avail while there are others, who get chances, avail them and progress in life. The unequal distribution of resources in different parts of the world is the fundamental reason why different people on Earth have different lifestyles. Because of the global stratification that has resulted from the unequal distribution of power, wealth and other resources, life chances are not the same for people within or across various nations. Over the centuries, the gap of income between the poorest and the richest population has widened as a result of which, “within some nations the poorest one-fifth of the population has an income that is only a slight fraction of the overall average per capita income for that country” (Kendall 278). There is a strong link between the human development and global poverty. The definition of poverty its influence upon the masses can not be simply derived from the disparity of income. According to the Human Development Index determined by the United Nations (UN), the extent of development of a country is controlled by factors that include but are not limited to the rate of infant mortality, expectancy of life, proportion of children who are below five years old and are underage, and the literacy rate among adults belonging to the low-income countries, the middle-income countries as well as the high-income countries (Kendall 278). An important perspective which associates the inequality of life chances across the globe with the various extents of economic development is the Modernization Theory. This theory asserts that the low-income countries can raise their level of income to become the middle-income and high-income countries if they manage to gain the economic growth which is self-sustained. Another very important theory that explains the phenomenon of unequal life chances with the help of the influence of rich countries upon the poor countries in the world is the Dependency Theory. The dependency theory asserts that the poverty all over the world has, in part, resulted from the exploitation offered to the low-income economies by the high-income economies of the world. The high-income countries have conventionally had a lot of opportunities to take advantage of the condition of the low-income countries. The rich countries have technological expertise that they can make use of to exploit the economies of the poor countries, and many rich countries have actually done this to several poor countries in the past. The two theories, i.e. the modernization theory and the dependency theory are quite different from each other in that the former explains the way societies can minimize the inequality among people by way of economic development and industrialization whereas the latter throws light upon the greed which the high-income countries of the world cultivate in order to aggravate the sufferings of the low-income countries. It is a harsh reality that people belonging to the same Earth are members of the same family, yet they have totally different lifestyles because of the unequal distribution of power, wealth and resources in different parts of the world. A child living in Ethiopia has to survive in the sweltering heat of the
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