The overarching implications of discursive constructivism : GMAT Reading Comprehension (RC)
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The overarching implications of discursive constructivism

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The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2012, 18:24
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The overarching implications of discursive constructivism are realized in every aspect of reality in which language is involved, since language manifests our conceptual framework. Because something is the way it is because we bestow our perceptions onto it via language, examining the philosophy of language proves itself especially important in feminist discourse. Some feminists have advanced the notion of formulating a new reality more congenial to women by which women will liberate themselves from oppressive patriarchal discourses and thrive with their new found expressive capabilities.

The inherent maleness of language, in light of discursive constructivism, traps women in a hierarchy of patriarchal social relations in which they are delegated to the lower rungs. Language often represents maleness as the norm, obscures the existence and importance of women, and imbeds a male-centric worldview, creating a picture of the world more suited to men than women. The English language, among many others, engages in what Frye calls the absurd practice of sex-marking, in which language assigns a critical importance to gender in situations in which it is, in reality, irrelevant, thereby perpetuating the narrative that men and women are somehow irrevocably and fundamentally dissimilar.

The patriarchal nature of language cannot be denied as a general force, yet feminists are not entirely correct to say that the entirety of a language enforces a discriminatory narrative. Although a plethora of specific terms and usages which stifle women’s equality exist, certain neutral words are undeniably present which have escaped the male bias which afflicts so much of our semantic reality. It is important to note that the patriarchal structure of society does not grant men complete control over language, despite their immense influence in the creation of dictionaries, grammatical rules and usage guides.
Which of the following best summarizes the contents of the passage?

A. Since many linguistic constructs display no gender bias, the feminist argument that language creates the male-centric structure of our society that traps women in the lower rungs of a patriarchal hierarchy has no merit.

B. Feminists consider language, which, they argue, has a male bias and therefore devalues women, to be of great importance because of language’s effect on how we perceive reality, even though this critique, although correct in principle, is unfounded in some cases.

C. The feminist argument that language reflects the patriarchal order of society and therefore relegates women to a lower status has many merits but it is not entirely correct.

D. Discursive constructivism, the concept that language is an active agent in the creation of what we perceive as reality, is of great concern to feminists, but their concerns, while founded, are exaggerated.

E. Language imposes a patriarchal discourse biased against women and constitutes a grave concern to feminists, who, although aware of language as a force which shapes reality, believe it is only male-centric in certain aspects.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
B

Which of the following sentences best exemplifies the use of male-centric language as the feminists cited in the passage portray it?

A deficit of facts leaves an historian with no recourse but creative imagination or theoretical constructions, as both allow a reconstruction of events based on the historian's understanding of the period.

The cognitive performance of teenage boys who consumed certain types of fish exceeded that of other boys their age, even when experimenters controlled for other facts such as parents' level of education and socioeconomic class.

Lucrezia Borgia was renowned for her expensive tastes and lewd behavior, earning her a reputation as one of the most corrupt members of the most corrupt of Renaissance Italy's dynasties.

In their eyes, the American, and by extension any denizen of the free world, was considered a fully formed individual while the Soviet was a slave, devoid of the freedom to speak his mind.

The Venetians were energetic and brave sea and land farers and thus brought both riches for themselves and many technological innovations from the Orient to Europe.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA

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Last edited by carcass on 05 Sep 2015, 10:51, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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25 Nov 2012, 22:04
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First off, where did you get this passage from? There is some really funky grammar here (Ex: "Because something is the way it is because..." etc).

Secondly, here are my notes from reading the passage. I use short forms when taking notes, but that wouldn't help you, so here's a longer version of what I took down:

Para I - Language influences perception of reality. Important to feminists. Some feminists - want to change perceptions by new expressions.
Para II - Explanation: Language is male. Patriarchal trap. Women lower rung. Example: English. Frye.
Para III - However: All language does not enforce discrimination. Neutral words. Men dominate society but do not control language.

Now looking at my notes and the choices, this is how I went through them:

A - Too strong a dismissal of feminist explanation. Incorrect.
B - Very strong contender. Summarizes the main idea of the passage. Correct.

At this point if I was pressed for time, I'd mark B as correct and move on. However, lets take a look at the other choices too.

C - The only thing wrong here is the 'many merits' part. The passage doesn't discuss 'many merits' of the feminist argument. Incorrect.
D - The feminists concern is not exaggerated; the author themselves say that it is valid. Incorrect.
E - According to the passage, feminists believe language is male centric as a norm, not in just 'certain aspects'. Incorrect.

Hope this helped. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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25 Nov 2012, 22:15
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A good RC.
Which of the following best summarizes the contents of the passage?

A. Since many linguistic constructs display no gender bias, the feminist argument that language creates the male-centric structure of our society that traps women in the lower rungs of a patriarchal hierarchy has no merit.Opposite view

B. Feminists consider language, which, they argue, has a male bias and therefore devalues women, to be of great importance because of language’s effect on how we perceive reality, even though this critique, although correct in principle, is unfounded in some cases.Not sure if it is wrong, but i am not sure what unfounded stands here as the critique himself tells this is not the case always

C. The feminist argument that language reflects the patriarchal order of society and therefore relegates women to a lower status has many merits but it is not entirely correct.merit is never discussed so wrong

D. Discursive constructivism, the concept that language is an active agent in the creation of what we perceive as reality, is of great concern to feminists, but their concerns, while founded, are exaggerated.maleness of language is a concern , so wrong

E. Language imposes a patriarchal discourse biased against women and constitutes a grave concern to feminists, who, although aware of language as a force which shapes reality, believe it is only male-centric in certain aspects. seems to me the best

Out of B and E , E seems to be the best.

in my opinion E. Please let me know the OA. and also plz correct my comments if i have gone wrong somewhere.
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2012, 02:32
The source is this http://gmat.economist.com/ and based on my info is a well established Gmat company as you can see

Thanks to all of you
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2012, 03:33
The answer is B, still time a concern it took over 5 mins.
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2012, 06:33
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Do not worry about too much.

Sometimes those RC are done more difficult than real passage: on one hand to gain customers and so on, on the other hand to teach the method or reasoning behind, to teach a METHOD of learning

In rc passage the best strategy (at least for me, but for upper level question is the best): read once and understand; ask yourself "what is the overall scope ?? this paragraph what role has ?? what is the spine of the passage ???

I always repeat myself: gmat needs a lot od dedication and time to build the concepts, digest them, understand an entire language (native and NO native)
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26 Nov 2012, 07:16
Carcass if u have the explanations can u please post them.. I am not totally convinced why B why not E.
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The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2012, 09:14
sujit2k7 wrote:
Carcass if u have the explanations can u please post them.. I am not totally convinced why B why not E.

read $$ONCE$$ read $$Carefullly$$

Quote:
The overarching implications of discursive constructivism are realized in every aspect of reality in which language is involved, since language manifests our conceptual framework. Because something is the way it is because we bestow our perceptions onto it via language, examining the philosophy of language proves itself especially important in feminist discourse. Some feminists have advanced the notion of formulating a new reality more congenial to women by which women will liberate themselves from oppressive patriarchal discourses and thrive with their new found expressive capabilities.

The inherent maleness of language, in light of discursive constructivism, traps women in a hierarchy of patriarchal social relations in which they are delegated to the lower rungs. Language often represents maleness as the norm, obscures the existence and importance of women, and imbeds a male-centric worldview, creating a picture of the world more suited to men than women. The English language, among many others, engages in what Frye calls the absurd practice of sex-marking, in which language assigns a critical importance to gender in situations in which it is, in reality, irrelevant, thereby perpetuating the narrative that men and women are somehow irrevocably and fundamentally dissimilar.

The patriarchal nature of language cannot be denied as a general force, yet feminists are not entirely correct to say that the entirety of a language enforces a discriminatory narrative. Although a plethora of specific terms and usages which stifle women’s equality exist, certain neutral words are undeniably present which have escaped the male bias which afflicts so much of our semantic reality. It is important to note that the patriarchal structure of society does not grant men complete control over language, despite their immense influence in the creation of dictionaries, grammatical rules and usage guides.

Quote:
B. Feminists consider language, which, they argue, has a male bias and therefore devalues women, to be of great importance because of language’s effect on how we perceive reality, even though this critique, although correct in principle, is unfounded in some cases.

The strategy for the main idea is to understand really but really to the big picture. If you read the entire passa 99.99 % of times pop up in front of you as soon as you read the answer choices

Quote:
D. Discursive constructivism, the concept that language is an active agent in the creation of what we perceive as reality, is of great concern to feminists, but their concerns, while founded, are exaggerated.

Is not properly the same
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2012, 09:54
I was confused between B and C. I selected C. But I understand why I was wrong.
Great passage! Thanks Carcass. Kudos!
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2012, 22:06
Thnkx Carcass for ur post. My pick was E. Can you help me in discarding E.
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2012, 02:20
sujit2k7 wrote:
Thnkx Carcass for ur post. My pick was E. Can you help me in discarding E.

E is too specific as treated in the 2 paragraph
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 23:13
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sujit2k7 wrote:
Thnkx Carcass for ur post. My pick was E. Can you help me in discarding E.

Responding to a pm:

E: Language imposes a patriarchal discourse biased against women and constitutes a grave concern to feminists, who, although aware of language as a force which shapes reality, believe it is only male-centric in certain aspects.

According to option E, feminists believe that language is male-centric in certain aspects.

According to the passage, feminists believe that entirety of language is male-centric. Read first line of third paragraph:

"The patriarchal nature of language cannot be denied as a general force, yet feminists are not entirely correct to say that the entirety of a language enforces a discriminatory narrative."

The author is telling us that the feminists say that the entirety of a language enforces a discriminatory narrative.
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2014, 02:42
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Bumping for review and further discussion*.

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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2014, 10:29
Sorry to say, but what is this standard??? It took some 4 minutes to grasp the 1st paragraph!!! Then the next two.

Well, it was a pretty high standard question. Kudos to you. But, how often does 1 get to see such high standard RC ques??
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2015, 08:44
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2015, 10:47

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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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26 May 2016, 09:26
A very difficult passage
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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26 May 2016, 20:53
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This is a good passage, took me 5'53'' but both wrong ans - however, I understand why.

Q1: I was choosing between B &D - on a closer look, it should be B instead of D because D is about "the concept that language is an active agent in the creation of what we perceive as reality, is of great concern to feminists," - which is not the case, here feminist concerned about the language sex-bias.

Q2: was trapped with the word "boys" in the ans while it doesn't really matter (B)--> after a closer look (D) seemed to be the most appropriate one after eliminated all other ans.

Thanks again.
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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27 May 2016, 21:13
carcass wrote:
sujit2k7 wrote:
Thnkx Carcass for ur post. My pick was E. Can you help me in discarding E.

E is too specific as treated in the 2 paragraph

Hello,

I did not understand this passage fully.And got both answer wrong.If you dont mind Could you kindly explain passage and both answer step by step
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Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2016, 06:10
Very good passage. We see such passages very rare in the exam. It took me 8:11 for both questions and got them correct.
Re: The overarching implications of discursive constructivism   [#permalink] 24 Jun 2016, 06:10

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