Traditional social science models of class groups in the United States are based on economic status and assume that women's economic status derives from association with men, typically fathers or husbands, and that women therefore have more compelling common interest with men of their own economic class than with women outside it. Some feminist social scientists, by contrast, have argued that the basic division in American society is instead based on gender, and that the total female population, regardless of economic status, constitutes a distinct class. Social historian Mary Ryan, for example, has argued that in early-nineteenth-century America the identical legal status of working-class and middle-class free women outweighed the differences between women of these two classes: married women, regardless of their family's wealth, did essentially the same unpaid domestic work, and none could own property or vote. Recently, though, other feminist analysts have questioned this model, examining ways in which the condition of working-class women differs from that of middle-class women as well as from that of working-class men. Ann Oakley notes, for example, that the gap between women of different economic classes widened in the late nineteenth century: most working-class women, who performed wage labor outside the home, were excluded from the emerging middle-class ideal of femininity centered around domesticity and volunteerism.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. offer social historical explanations for the cultural differences between men and women in the United States
B. examine how the economic roles of women in the United States changed during the nineteenth century
C. consider differing views held by social scientists concerning women's class status in the United States
D. propose a feminist interpretation of class structure in the United States
E. outline specific distinctions between working-class women and women of the upper and middle classes
2. It can be inferred from the passage that the most recent feminist social science research on women and class seeks to do which of the following?
A. Introduce a divergent new theory about the relationship between legal status and gender
B. Illustrate an implicit middle-class bias in earlier feminist models of class and gender
C. Provide evidence for the position that gender matters more than wealth in determining class status
D. Remedy perceived inadequacies of both traditional social science models and earlier feminist analyses of class and gender
E. Challenge the economic definitions of class used by traditional social scientists
3. Which of the following statements best characterizes the relationship between traditional social science models of class and Ryan's model, as described in the passage?
A. Ryan's model differs from the traditional model by making gender, rather than economic status, the determinant of women's class status.
B. The traditional social science model of class differs from Ryan's in its assumption that women are financially dependent on men.
C. Ryan's model of class and the traditional social science model both assume that women work, either within the home or for pay.
D. The traditional social science model of class differs from Ryan's in that each model focuses on a different period of American history.
E. Both Ryan's model of class and the traditional model consider multiple factors, including wealth, marital status, and enfranchisement, in determining women's status.