The Issue of Global Poverty

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 4
Words: 1099
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

The distribution of resources within the global community is unequal, and this situation causes the development of poverty around the world. Global poverty is the problem that is discussed in relation to the poor categories of people over the world in spite of the country’s status. However, it is important to note that the particular features of poverty in the capitalist and low-income countries are different. If the countries of the Third World suffer from the absolute poverty, the poverty in the developed countries can be defined as relative because the level of life of poor people in the developed countries is significantly higher in comparison with the incomes of the poor population in the Third World countries and their living conditions. The problem is in the fact that despite the character of poverty, it is a global problem that should be resolved at the global level with references to the efforts of international organizations and the world population.

Poverty is the social problem typical for all the world countries, and it is characterized by the lack of the necessary resources to have adequate nutrition, basic clothing, medical care, housing, and appropriate conditions for life. The concept of global poverty discusses the problem from the larger perspective, focusing on poverty as the global issue, which is characteristic for more than two billion people living in poverty in the countries of the Third World as well as in the developed countries (Schweickart, 2008). The issue of poverty is closely associated with such problems as malnutrition or famine, frequent severe diseases among the poor population, and overpopulation. Millions of people suffer from the lack of income and necessary resources, but the situation is different in the developed countries and developing countries where poverty is life-threatening.

The problem of global poverty directly fits into the field of sociology because it is one of the basic world social issues which need an effective solution. Sociologists are inclined to discuss the modern situation in relation to poverty from the point of globalization and its role in the issue’s development. Following the ideas of social stratification and global distribution of resources, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that sociologists distinguish between absolute and relative poverty in order to accentuate the difference in the population’s incomes in developing and developed countries.

The ways to resolve the problem of global poverty are discussed by sociologists as depending on the problem’s causes and the idea of globalization. Such sociologists and theorists, as Peter Singer and Thomas Pogge, focus much on the causes of poverty in order to find the solutions for the issue (Caranti, 2010). That is why the concept of global poverty significantly depends on such factors as population growth, social stratification, cultural patterns followed in the developed and developing countries, and the lack of technology (Caranti, 2010). Thus, it is possible to use standpoint theory, conflict theory, and critical approach to examine and discuss the problem of world poverty.

Although the causes of global poverty are relatively determined, it is rather difficult to work out the most effective solution for the problem in order to preserve the world’s social balance. The problems in determining the causes of the problem are based on the impossibility to discuss the same factors as influential for the development of poverty in developing and developed countries. Thus, sociologists agree that the main cause of global poverty is the unequal distribution of sources among the population (Schweickart, 2008).

Nevertheless, it is important to concentrate on the other factors which cause this inequality. Discussing the case of the Third World countries, researchers focus on the question of climate which can cause the lack of water resources and malnutrition, cultural patterns, and traditions which affect the visions of the indigenous population and the lack of technologies in production and peculiarities of the social life (Schweickart, 2008). The issue of poverty in developed countries is based on political, economic, and social institutions. As a result, to resolve the problem of global poverty, it is important to use different approaches that are appropriate for the concrete country and territory.

Sociological research is extremely important for analyzing and resolving the problem of global poverty because it is useful to determine the causes and aspects of the issue for the concrete case. Furthermore, today sociologists focus on discussing the problem of world poverty in the context of globalization tendencies. Further research is necessary to examine the implications of the issue because researches have no single idea in relation to the point, and they are inclined to see globalization as the cause as well as the way to resolve the poverty problem. Significant economic interdependencies typical for the globalization process can help to support the economic balance over the world and eradicate poverty.

Nevertheless, it is important to predict all the consequences of the process for the further economic and social development of nations. The practical impact of the sociological research on the poverty issue is also associated with the question of responsibility. It is rather difficult to state who is responsible for overcoming the problem of global poverty. However, according to the findings of recent researches, it is possible to determine the aspects which are necessary to resolve the problem. Financial and material resources, along with expertise, are important factors to overcome severe poverty (McNeill, 2011). Thus, international organizations are discussed as institutions that can combine their efforts in the context of globalization and overcome world poverty. That is why the mission of many world organizations include such statements as the eradication of poverty and hunger in the Third World countries.

Global poverty is not an only economic problem, but it is also a significant social issue, which is rather difficult to resolve because it depends on a range of factors. Sociologists define poverty in many ways because poverty in developed and developing countries is associated with various notions. Nevertheless, if the causes of global poverty are actively discussed in the field of sociology from many perspectives and in relation to different theories, the question of overcoming the issue remains open because of its controversial character. Relative and absolute poverty requires different approaches to solve the problem. However, a lot of practical methods to overcome the issue are closely connected with the idea of globalization and the active role of international organizations in the process redistribution of resources in order to cope with such aspects of poverty as malnutrition, minimal housing, the lack of the necessary conditions to satisfy the basic needs, the extreme growth of population, the high rate of severe diseases and mortality.


Caranti, L. (2010). The causes of world poverty: Reflections on Thomas Pogge’s analysis. Theoria: A Journal of Social & Political Theory, 57(125), 36-53.

McNeill, D. (2011). Poverty, human rights, and global justice: The response-ability of multilateral organizations. Globalizations, 8(1), 97-111.

Schweickart, D. (2008). Global poverty: Alternative perspectives on what we should do – and why. Journal of Social Philosophy, 39(4), 471-491.