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Jon Clark's study of the effect of the modernization of a

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Jon Clark's study of the effect of the modernization of a [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2012, 18:37
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Discussed in detail at the below mentioned link
jon-clark-s-study-of-the-effect-of-the-modernization-of-a-88689.html#p669013


Jon Clark's study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone exchange on exchange maintenance work and workers is a solid contributionto a debate that encompasses two lively issues in the history and sociology of technology: technological determinism and social constructivism.
Clark makes the point that characteristics of a technology have a decisive influence on job skills and work organization (this is called technological determinism). Put more strongly, technology can be a primary determinant of social and managerial organization. Clark believes this possibility has been obscured by recent sociological fashion, called social constructivism.
(...)
Clark refutes the extremes of the constructivists by both theorical and empirical arguments. (...) Thus Clark helps answer the question: "When is social choice decisive and when are the concrete characteristics of technology more important?

The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. advocate a more positive attitude toward technological change
B. discuss the implications for employees of the modernization of a telephone Exchange
C. consider a successful challenge to the constructivist view of technological change
D. challenge the position of advocates of technological determinism
E. suggest that the social causes of technological change should be studied in real situations


Please your help with a doubt I have in this question. I have reduced the passage to help you:

The OA is C, and I agree, but the word "successful" doesn't sound good to me. The author believes that Clark's study is successful, but it doesn't mean that really it is successful or that I believe it is successful.
It seems that the choice is suggesting that the study is really successful, which we don't know.

Please, tell me whether I am wrong with this claim and why.
Thanks!
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Re: Social constructivism [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2012, 05:02
well

What you have pasted is not useful to understand completely the main point or gist of the passage

here is the 3rd paragraph

Quote:
Clark refutes the extremes of the constructivists
by both theoretical and empirical arguments.

Theoretically he defi nes “technology” in terms of
relationships between social and technical variables.
Attempts to reduce the meaning of technology to
cold, hard metal are bound to fail, for machinery is
just scrap unless it is organized functionally and
supported by appropriate systems of operation and
maintenance. At the empirical level Clark shows how
a change at the telephone exchange from
maintenance-intensive electromechanical switches
to semielectronic switching systems altered work
tasks, skills, training opportunities, administration,
and organization of workers.
Some changes Clark
attributes to the particular way management and
labor unions negotiated the introduction of the
technology, whereas others are seen as arising from the capabilities and nature of the technology itself.
Thus Clark helps answer the question: “When is
social choice decisive and when are the concrete
characteristics of technology more important?”


as you can see from my highlighted parts clear Clark challenges the constructivism and how, with clear points in positive. so successful. Do not streess too much on a single word.

NEVER. Trying to understand really the whole picture and main point (and the rest) comes up almost suddenly
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Re: Social constructivism [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2012, 09:14
The fact is that Clarke counters the extremes of the constructivists with sufficient empirical and logical arguments. So it is success enough in that sense. For an RC, there is no need to analyze as is done in CR.
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Re: Social constructivism [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2013, 17:32
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danzig wrote:
The OA is C, and I agree, but the word "successful" doesn't sound good to me. The author believes that Clark's study is successful, but it doesn't mean that really it is successful or that I believe it is successful.
It seems that the choice is suggesting that the study is really successful, which we don't know.
Please, tell me whether I am wrong with this claim and why.
Thanks!

I am responding to a pm from danzig. I like what carcass and daagh have to say on this page. I will just say --- I think you are reading too much into the phrase "successfully challenge."

Suppose you make an argument about something. Suppose I "successfully challenge" this argument. That doesn't necessarily mean that I completely obliterate your position, making it logically impossible for you or anyone else ever to hold that position again. That's too strong. All it means to challenge an argument is to raise serious objections, such that you would have to answer my objections or re-adjust your position to maintain the integrity of your argument. If I just say, "I don't agree", but don't say anything else, that's not a particularly successful challenge because it doesn't really require you to respond. A successful challenge requires an authentic response of some kind.

Here, the social constructivists staked out some position, and then Clark raised some serious objections to this position. It's not necessarily a complete rebuttal --- just objections. The social constructivists, in order to be taken serious, will have to answer these objections. In other words, Clark's analysis demands a response from them. That's a successful challenge.

Does that make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Jon Clark's study of the effect of the modernization of a [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2014, 05:14
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Jon Clark's study of the effect of the modernization of a [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2016, 10:04
mikemcgarry wrote:
danzig wrote:
The OA is C, and I agree, but the word "successful" doesn't sound good to me. The author believes that Clark's study is successful, but it doesn't mean that really it is successful or that I believe it is successful.
It seems that the choice is suggesting that the study is really successful, which we don't know.
Please, tell me whether I am wrong with this claim and why.
Thanks!

I am responding to a pm from danzig. I like what carcass and daagh have to say on this page. I will just say --- I think you are reading too much into the phrase "successfully challenge."

Suppose you make an argument about something. Suppose I "successfully challenge" this argument. That doesn't necessarily mean that I completely obliterate your position, making it logically impossible for you or anyone else ever to hold that position again. That's too strong. All it means to challenge an argument is to raise serious objections, such that you would have to answer my objections or re-adjust your position to maintain the integrity of your argument. If I just say, "I don't agree", but don't say anything else, that's not a particularly successful challenge because it doesn't really require you to respond. A successful challenge requires an authentic response of some kind.

Here, the social constructivists staked out some position, and then Clark raised some serious objections to this position. It's not necessarily a complete rebuttal --- just objections. The social constructivists, in order to be taken serious, will have to answer these objections. In other words, Clark's analysis demands a response from them. That's a successful challenge.

Does that make sense?
Mike :-)



Hi Mike

Why not A here? The author seems to support Jon's stand in the passage ie a positive bent towards tech.
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Re: Jon Clark's study of the effect of the modernization of a [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2016, 10:51
sinhap07 wrote:
Hi Mike

Why not A here? The author seems to support Jon's stand in the passage ie a positive bent towards tech.

Dear sinhap07,

I'm happy to respond. :-) My friend, there is a BIG difference between the author's purpose, why she decided to put words down for others to read, vs. something the author happens to believe.

I have absolutely no doubt that if we asked the author, "Do you yourself have a positive attitude toward technological change?" she would say yes. Furthermore, if we asked her "Do you think people in general should have a more positive attitude toward technological change?" she may well say yes to that too. It's not hard to imagine that this is something the author believes.

BUT--and this is very important to understand--that's different from the author's purpose, the reason why the author chose to write precisely about this topic.

You see, the beginnings and conclusions of a passage are important. In the opening sentence, the author says, "Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone exchange on exchange maintenance work and workers is a solid contribution to a debate that encompasses two lively issues in the history and sociology of technology: technological determinism and social constructivism." The words "solid contribution" are a positive value judgment, and this about as strong an endorsement as we will see in academic writing. What seems very important to the author is the strength of Clark's contribution: we know the author cares about this, so the purpose for writing should be connected to this.

You see, if the author's purpose were to "advocate a more positive attitude toward technological change," then we would have to see explicit statements about the opinions of people toward technology, or judgments about ways technological change might be portrayed (e.g. in the new, in movies, etc.) There would have to be a bold statement somewhere along the lines of "people should look more favorably at the way technology benefits them." The author's main purpose is always supported by an explicit statement.

In this response I am writing, my purpose is to you answer your question. Someone reading this might infer that I care about the questions on the GMAT or I respect the quality of the official questions or something such as that, but none of these is my specific intention in setting these words down. My specific intention is to address your question.

The primary purpose of a passage cannot be something we simply infer from the passage. Choice (A) might be a plausible answer for an inference question, but it's totally incorrect for a primary purpose question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Jon Clark's study of the effect of the modernization of a [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2016, 00:05
mikemcgarry wrote:
sinhap07 wrote:
Hi Mike

Why not A here? The author seems to support Jon's stand in the passage ie a positive bent towards tech.

Dear sinhap07,

I'm happy to respond. :-) My friend, there is a BIG difference between the author's purpose, why she decided to put words down for others to read, vs. something the author happens to believe.

I have absolutely no doubt that if we asked the author, "Do you yourself have a positive attitude toward technological change?" she would say yes. Furthermore, if we asked her "Do you think people in general should have a more positive attitude toward technological change?" she may well say yes to that too. It's not hard to imagine that this is something the author believes.

BUT--and this is very important to understand--that's different from the author's purpose, the reason why the author chose to write precisely about this topic.

You see, the beginnings and conclusions of a passage are important. In the opening sentence, the author says, "Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone exchange on exchange maintenance work and workers is a solid contribution to a debate that encompasses two lively issues in the history and sociology of technology: technological determinism and social constructivism." The words "solid contribution" are a positive value judgment, and this about as strong an endorsement as we will see in academic writing. What seems very important to the author is the strength of Clark's contribution: we know the author cares about this, so the purpose for writing should be connected to this.

You see, if the author's purpose were to "advocate a more positive attitude toward technological change," then we would have to see explicit statements about the opinions of people toward technology, or judgments about ways technological change might be portrayed (e.g. in the new, in movies, etc.) There would have to be a bold statement somewhere along the lines of "people should look more favorably at the way technology benefits them." The author's main purpose is always supported by an explicit statement.

In this response I am writing, my purpose is to you answer your question. Someone reading this might infer that I care about the questions on the GMAT or I respect the quality of the official questions or something such as that, but none of these is my specific intention in setting these words down. My specific intention is to address your question.

The primary purpose of a passage cannot be something we simply infer from the passage. Choice (A) might be a plausible answer for an inference question, but it's totally incorrect for a primary purpose question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Sure Mike. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks tons.
Re: Jon Clark's study of the effect of the modernization of a   [#permalink] 19 Aug 2016, 00:05
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