Global Stratification and Local Cultures

Global stratification is the arrangement of individuals, countries, and groups in a hierarchy. Hierarchy systems in society are mainly based on wealth. Countries, such as the United States, with advanced economies and global brands benefit most from stratification. The paper looks at the effect of the United States multinational firm Nike on local economies and explores differential impact of global stratification. Global stratification favors the countries with means to production against poorly and less developed countries and maintains the status quo.

The Impact of Global Stratification on Local Culture

Positive

In this case, the paper analyzes the impact of fashion brand Nike on cultures across the world. The positive impact of Nike’s global presence includes the creation of job opportunities through retailers and wholesaler who sell the company’s merchandise. Second, people benefit through the access to the quality products, including sporting accessories, from the enterprise. Therefore, outsourcing improves the living standards of undeveloped and developing countries and access to quality products. Third, a multinational presence on the less developed markets affects the skill levels by hiring and training locals.

Negative

However, there are drawbacks associated with global stratification, especially in undeveloped and developing countries. First, local economies hardly benefit as multinational corporations exploit local resources. Nike is accused of using sweatshops in its production plants in China and Pakistan (Kazi, 2011). Such corporations as Nike move to the countris where taxes are lowest, but the goods they provide, such as shoes and clothing, bear huge taxes to the citizens. Secondly, through business monopolization, the multinational corporations block local innovations (Rugraff & Hansen, 2011). Nike first built its production in Japan but later shifted to China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The changes led to the loss of jobs and devastated local economies. In China, Pakistan, and Vietnam, Nike has been accused of using child labor, causing environmental pollution, and killing competition (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2015). Therefore, multinational corporations, which are mainly set up in emerging and developing countries, have a greater negative impact.

Global Stratification’s Impact on the United States

Positive

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As one of the world’s leading economic, technology, and industrialization powers, the United States is favored by global stratification. The United States benefits by taxes from its firms with a big global footprint. The majority of the profits from the world markets end up in the United States. Second, the United States gains a global presence, which improves the market for other products made in the country.

Negative

However, firms such as Nike are controlled and owned by a small group of American families and individuals. Global stratification favors the United States’ position globally but increases inequalities in the population. Outsourcing its services to foreign markets in China and Taiwan, Nike denies employment opportunities to the millions of Americans (Hira & Hira, 2005). Outsourcing also deprives the govvernment of billions in tax revenue, thereby affecting the provision of services, such as education and health care, to the middle and low-income Americans.

Biggest Winners

Firms, such as Nike, and mother nations, such as the United States, are the great winners in global stratification. As one of the most industrialized nations of the world, the USA exploits the less developed countries economically and, ultimately, politically. Second, global firms, such as Nike, operate on the markets with low regulations and taxes. Therefore, the markets give the wealthy companies a competitive advantage (Benit, 2008). On the other hand, the nations placed on the lower end in the stratification strata continue to languish in abject poverty. Furthermore, developing countries face multiple challenges, including starvation, disease, low life expectancy, and poverty as well as continuous domestic and international conflicts. Such problems are at a less magnitude in developed economies.

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Conclusion

Global stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of societies based mainly on economic power. Global stratification favors the countries with the means to production and their firms. Thus, the United States benefits heavily from the firms such a Nike with a global footprint. On the other hand, the less developed and emerging nations where multinationals outsource see no tangible benefits. Despite creating employment, the firms exploit labor force and raw materials at a low cost, which increases their profits. Therefore, globalization and global stratification are the agents of social inequality globally.

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