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Acting on the recommendation of a British government

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Acting on the recommendation of a British government [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2017, 00:53
betterscore wrote:
Acting on the recommendation of a British government committee investigating the high incidence in white lead factories of illness among employees, most of who were women, the Home Secretary proposed in 1895 that Parliament enact legislation that would prohibit women from holding most jobs in white lead factories. Although the Women's Industrial Defense Committee (WIDC), formed in 1892 in response to earlier legislative attempts to restrict women's labor, did not discount the white lead trade's potential health dangers, it opposed the proposal, viewing it as yet another instance of limiting women's work opportunities. Also opposing the proposal was the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women (SPEW), which attempted to challenge it by investigating the causes of illness in white lead factories. SPEW contended, and WIDC concurred, that controllable conditions in such factories were responsible for the development of lead poisoning. SPEW provided convincing evidence that lead poisoning could be avoided if workers were careful and clean and if already extant workplace safety regulations were stringently enforced. However, the Women's Trade Union League (WTUL), which had ceased in the late 1880s to oppose restrictions on women's labor, supported the eventually enacted proposal, in part because safety regulations were generally not being enforced in white lead factories, where there were no unions (and little prospect of any) to pressure employers to comply with safety regulations.
The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) presenting various groups' views of the motives of those proposing certain legislation
(B) contrasting the reasoning of various groups concerning their positions on certain proposed legislation
(C) tracing the process whereby certain proposed legislation was eventually enacted
(D) assessing the success of tactics adopted by various groups with respect to certain proposed legislation
(E) evaluating the arguments of various groups concerning certain proposed legislation

[Reveal] Spoiler:

Passage: White Lead

Question: Main Idea

The Simple Story

Lead poisoning was once common among the mostly-female workforce of white lead factories. In 1895, the Home Secretary proposed banning women from working in these factories. The passage focuses on the ways in which three groups reacted to the proposal: WIDC and SPEW opposed the ban, while WTUL supported it. The passage also details the reasons for these groups’ reactions.

Sample Passage Map

Here is one way to map this passage. (Note: abbreviate as desired!)


WL factories → illness for women

Home Sec: ban women

WIDC: no, this limits women’s work opps


SPEW: also oppose Home Sec; illness can be controlled with regs

WTUL: supported Home Sec b/c of no safety regs

Step 1: Identify the Question

The phrasing primarily concerned with indicates that this is a Primary Purpose, or main idea, question.

Step 2: Find the Support

The support for a main idea question comes from your understanding of the passage as a whole; main idea answers will focus on the point of the entire passage, rather than any specific detail.

Step 3: Predict an Answer

The passage can be divided into four sections. The first section introduces background information: a proposal was made for certain reasons. Each of the next three sections describes the reaction of a particular group to this proposal. The passage does not argue in favor of or against any of these groups. Instead, it limits itself to describing their reactions and their reasoning, including how and why they differed. The right answer will probably refer to describing or contrasting the reactions of the three groups.

Step 4: Eliminate and Find a Match

(A) The three groups are described as being concerned with why the lead poisoning occurred, not with why the proposal about poisoning was made.

(B) CORRECT. The three groups supported or opposed the proposal for different reasons. For instance, WTUL supported the proposal due to concerns about enforcement. The majority of the passage is dedicated to explaining these reasons.

(C) At the end of the passage, it is briefly mentioned that the proposal was enacted. However, the passage does not specify how the groups influenced the legislative process, or how that process proceeded. It is possible that WTUL’s support helped the proposal become enacted, but the passage does not specifically state this.

(D) Since the proposal was enacted, WIDC’s and SPEW’s opposition to the proposal was presumably less successful than WTUL’s support. However, the passage does not state this and does not specifically describe any of the groups as successful or unsuccessful. Also, the groups’ tactics are not described, only their positions and reasoning.

(E) The passage does not evaluate the arguments of the groups. Instead, it just describes these arguments, without judging their merits.

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Re: Acting on the recommendation of a British government [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2017, 10:54
All correct in 7 mins 20 seconds :( , including 3 mins to read the passage

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. - Henry Ford
The Moment You Think About Giving Up, Think Of The Reason Why You Held On So Long
+1 Kudos if you find this post helpful

Re: Acting on the recommendation of a British government   [#permalink] 12 Nov 2017, 10:54

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