Globalisation is a deeply controversial term; many people state that it allows poor countries to develop economically and socially whilst others argue that globalisation has benefitted multinational corporations in the Western world at the expense of smaller local firms. According to Kiggundu, globalisation offers developing countries new opportunities and challenges such as economic, political and social development, but it also gives these countries an opportunity to reduce poverty and increase wages, and thereby adding wealth to the economy (Kiggundu, 2002). There are several different ways to measure and define globalisation, but the most used measurement methods are to divide the effects of globalisation into one economic, one political and one social dimension and thereby evaluate the effects (Dreher, 2006).
Economic globalisation measures the extent to which a country is exposed to foreign capital and trade with the world.
Political globalisation measures the degree of a countries political integration
Indicators of social globalisation include poverty, unemployment and income distribution. According to Maluf and Burlundy, Brazil can be classified as a ‘large middle income country.’ Although Brazil as a country is an important agricultural and industrial power, with the strongest economy in Latin America, poverty is widespread. Human development indicators in poor rural areas are comparable to those in the poorest countries in Latin America. Despite recent improvements in income distribution, the issues of income inequality and social exclusion remain at the root of this widespread issue. The persistence of poverty is based upon three elements: the level of inequality, the variation in this level and the economies rate of growth. Poverty levels are more sensitive to alterations in levels of inequality than the variations in economic growth (Maluf and Burlundy, 2007). When looking at the social development of Brazil it is important to understand why the country has become such an unbalanced society even though it is such a large economy. To comprehend the gap between the rich and poor in Brazil, one must look at the socio-historical factors.