Senior Associate Researcher
Adress: Tennessee, USA
Scott Frey is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Social Justice at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has taught previously at George Washington University, Kansas State University, and the University of North Florida, and he has held chair and head positions at the University of North Florida and the University of Tennessee. He has also held appointments at Argonne National Laboratory and the National Science Foundation. He has received research funding from the Ford Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of World-Systems Research and serves on the editorial boards of Human Ecology Review and Sociological Inquiry.
His areas of interest are environmental sociology, development and globalization, comparative/historical sociology, and the sociology of culture. He studies the transnational flow of hazardous wastes and production processes, focusing on peripheral regions of the world-system. His recent research highlights how transnational corporate export practices not only damage the environment, but also have adverse health, safety, and socio-economic consequences. He spent the Fall 2013 semester in Vietnam as a Senior Fulbright Scholar where, in addition to conducting fieldwork on pesticide use among rice farmers in the Mekong Delta, he served as Visiting Professor of Sociology at Vietnam National University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City. He has contributed chapters to recent books on environmental issues and published in numerous periodicals, including the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of World-Systems Research, Rural Sociology, Sociological Quarterly, among others. He has published several edited books. His most recent book, Globalization, Environmental Health, and Social Justice, is under contract with Routledge.
Education and academic positions:
Infant Mortality in the World-System: The Cross-National Evidence
The plight of children improved dramatically over the 20th Century. Infant and child mortality, for instance, declined globally over the past six decades and infant deaths have declined across countries occupying very different positions in the world-system (World Bank, 2015), but considerable cross-national variation in infant mortality remains at the beginning of the 21st Century (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013) and child mortality reduction goals under the UN’s 2015 Millennium Development Goals will not be met (United Nations, 2014; World Bank, 2015). Consider the fact that there was a 100-fold variation in the infant mortality rate across countries in the world-system in 2013: Monaco had a rate of 1.81 infant deaths per live 1,000 births, while Afghanistan had a rate of 187.5 infant deaths per 1.000 live births (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013).
Why does infant mortality continue to vary so widely across countries of the world- system? Various explanations have been offered, but little attention has focused on examining the validity of these explanations simultaneously with recent data. This gap in the literature was addressed in a cross-sectional analysis of the determinants of infant mortality in 2010 for a sample of 144 countries. The empirical validity of four macro- social change theories was examined: gender stratification theory, modernization theory, dependency/world-systems theory, and developmental state theory. Strong support was found for gender stratification theory: female education had a negative effect on infant mortality. Support was also found for modernization theory: as industrialization increased, the infant mortality rate decreased. No support was found for developmental state theory (the level of state intervention in the economy) and dependency/world-system theory (position of the country in relation to the core countries). Several control variables were examined (population growth and democracy, among other variables), but only Sub- Saharan Africa status proved to be an important predictor: Sub-Saharan African countries had a significantly higher infant mortality rate than their non Sub-Saharan African counterparts. Increasing gender equality seems to be the most rational means for reducing infant mortality. Implications of the results and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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