WhenIwas eight, that changed. TheUnitedNations began distributing foodattheschoolsinthearea and aheavy burden wasliftedfromourshoulders.Myfriends andInolonger worriedabout beinghungryinclass. Weateasimplemealeach dayandcouldstayfocused duringlessons.... I oftenaskmyself:withoutthebenefit ofschool meals, wouldIhavebecome aliterate,healthy,successful long-distance runner?
-PaulTergat(2005),a marathonworld record holder andwinner
of two silverOlympicmedals, describing his early
childhood, marked bypovertyand hunger in Kenya
arathoner PauL Tergat speaks for miL-Lions of peopLe around the worLd who
experienced poverty and hunger.In his roLe as Ambassador Against Hunger for theWorLdFood Program, Tergat encourages others toget
in campaigns against hunger, illiter-acy,'poLLution, homeLessness, and other probLemsthat Limit peopLe's Lifechances and opportunities.He aLso highLights the fact that aLthough studentsin high-income nations
many food choices,some of which may be bad for them, students inLow-income nations
very LittLefood and ex-tremeLy Limited choices in Life without interven-tion from the outside (Hattori,2006).
RegardLess of where peopLe Live in the worLd,sociaL and economic inequaLities are pressingdaily concerns. Poverty and inequaLity know nopoLiticaL boundaries or nationaL borders. In thischapter, we examine gLobaL stratification and in-equaLity, and discuss perspectives that
beendeveLoped to expLain the nature and extent of thisprobLem. Before reading on, test your knowLedgeof gLobaL weaLth and poverty (see Box 8.1).
The success story of marathon world-record-holder Paul Tergat, who grew up poor and hungry, calls our attention toissues of globalstratification and inequality.