How useful is the term "Third World" in today's economic and political system?.
The term "Third World" is an inexact and popularly misunderstood designation for the emerging nations of the world. The term is referring to the less developed countries of Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America. This report will look at how useful this term is, the definitions of the different "worlds" and the relevance of this class system. The current economic and political systems can often affect the relevance of this term. This report will look at how the political systems in power and the economic systems of production, distribution and consumption make this term more or less needed. .
The "Third World" countries all have similar characteristics such as, high birth rates, poverty, high infant morality, high death rates, short life expectancy and dependence on the more advanced countries or "first world". The Third world is also highly differentiated because the countries it includes have a varied amount of economic development. .
"The term Third World was originally intended to distinguish the non-aligned nations that gained independence from colonial rule beginning after World War II from the Western nations and from those that formed the former Eastern bloc, and sometimes more specifically from the United States and from the former Soviet Union (the first and second worlds, respectively)." (The learning network). Today, these "worlds" are obsolete so most refer to two groups of countries as being either "developed" versus "less developed".
The term also implies that the "worlds" are set in stone. As countries develop many feel it is time that a forth world is defined. Parts of sub Saharan Africa for example are much less developed than areas of Asia. These areas that are not developing to a similar speed could there for be put into a class of fourth world countries. Griggs 1992 claims that a forth world has already been defined, "The Fourth World has also been used to designate: 1.