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Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s n

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Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s n  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2018, 14:56
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McGraw Hills GMAT 2013

Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s no surprise that the discipline is frequently embroiled in controversy. Even when social commentators and outside observers fail to criticize the latest anthropological theory on human nature, the social science’s own practitioners are often up in arms over some study or another. Consider Ekman’s landmark study of human emotions in the 1960s.

At the time, the accepted movement in anthropology was relativism. In an effort to rid the discipline of accusations of bias, anthropologists attempted to study cultures as isolated systems. The norms, mores, and practices of each culture were analyzed only in terms of the internal consistency they possessed and any suggestion of judgment was met by howls of outrage by the anthropological establishment. Into this arena came Ekman with his startling heresy; emotions, argued Ekman, were not arbitrary cultural constructs but universal human traits. Ekman had spent years traveling the world, showing people around the globe photographs of other people expressing six basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise. Not one person studied by Ekman failed to recognize these emotions, whether the person in the photograph was wearing the suit of a Western businessman or the tribal dress of the Fore foragers of New Guinea.

When Ekman presented his findings at an anthropological conference, he was denounced as a fascist and a racist. Some of his fellow scientists even took his research to prove not that human emotions were universal but that the hegemony of Western culture was so complete that even the most far-flung peoples were socialized into the Western mindset. Ekman was shocked at the reaction. He thought his findings would be evidence of the brotherhood of man, not of the subjugation of the world by the West. And yet, Ekman’s conclusions have been replicated again and again and are now generally accepted in the anthropology community, which apparently is like its subject matter: quick to anger but perhaps slow to admit mistakes.

1. Which of the following most accurately expresses the main idea of the passage?

A. Despite an initial outcry over his work, Ekman was eventually vindicated by the scientific community for his research findings.
B. The anthropological community as a whole is characterized by rigidity and an unwillingness to accept new ideas.
C. Anthropologists take longer to accept controversial ideas about human nature than do scientists in other fields.
D. The anthropological community’s reaction to certain heretical ideas may reflect a basic truth about the nature of the discipline.
E. Ekman’s revolutionary study about the universality of human emotions caused a stir in the anthropological community that reverberates to this day.


2. According to the passage, the results of Ekman’s study were

A. unequivocal in their support of Ekman’s thesis that there are certain emotions that are universally recognized
B. inconclusive, as they may have simply indicated the hegemony of Western culture rather than the universality of human emotions
C. invalid because Ekman only used pictures of Western businessmen and Fore tribesmen
D. inflammatory because Ekman’s personal biases influenced the results
E. limited because Ekman did not carry out enough research to properly draw the conclusion he reached


3. The passage suggests which of the following about anthropology?

A. For much of the discipline’s history it was often charged with making racist assumptions about the value of other cultures’ practices.
B. The relativist approach is no longer employed by modern anthropologists.
C. At one time, anthropologists evaluated cultures based on a culture’s relationships to other cultures in the world.
D. Members of the anthropological community are more sensitive to accusations of bias than are the members of other disciplines.
E. Anthropologists believe that the prevalence of Western cultural norms represents a threat to indigenous peoples around the world.



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Re: Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s n  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2018, 18:28
Can anyone explain why the answer for ques 1 is D. I got the answer as B

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Re: Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s n  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2018, 22:22
raveesh1203 wrote:
Can anyone explain why the answer for ques 1 is D. I got the answer as B

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Hi,

The passage talks about the subject - anthropology - being so volatile - even subject's own insiders sometimes are against some study/findings.The passage in general, discusses the volatileness between groups of who work on the subject and the ones who don't. Nowhere in the passage it's mentioned that any anthropological community is unwilling to accept any new ideas, it's just that they are not convinced with the explanation about a certain finding. consider the example presented in the passage about the findings of Ekamn.

Hope this helps !!
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Re: Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s n  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2018, 00:06
Can anyone provide the explanation for Q3?
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Re: Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s n  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2018, 06:56
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raveesh1203 wrote:
Can anyone explain why the answer for ques 1 is D. I got the answer as B

Thanks

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Hi ,
Here is the original question with all the answer choices.


Which of the following most accurately expresses the main idea of the passage?

A. Despite an initial outcry over his work, Ekman was eventually vindicated by the scientific community for his research findings.
B. The anthropological community as a whole is characterized by rigidity and an unwillingness to accept new ideas.
C. Anthropologists take longer to accept controversial ideas about human nature than do scientists in other fields.
D. The anthropological community’s reaction to certain heretical ideas may reflect a basic truth about the nature of the discipline.
E. Ekman’s revolutionary study about the universality of human emotions caused a stir in the anthropological community that reverberates to this day.

B is not inferred from the passage. Moreover there are reasons that anthropology field may take in new ideas but folks in the same field will denounce it. To clearly point out this please read the following from the passage.

Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s no surprise that the discipline is frequently embroiled in controversy. Even when social commentators and outside observers fail to criticize the latest anthropological theory on human nature, the social science’s own practitioners are often up in arms over some study or another. Consider Ekman’s landmark study of human emotions in the 1960s.


At the time, the accepted movement in anthropology was relativism. In an effort to rid the discipline of accusations of bias, anthropologists attempted to study cultures as isolated systems. The norms, mores, and practices of each culture were analyzed only in terms of the internal consistency they possessed and any suggestion of judgment was met by howls of outrage by the anthropological establishment.

D on the other hand is correct as we can see form the first para that folks in the field criticize other folks with different theories.
Again we are given reaction to Ekman’s landmark study. D is the only valid answer.
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Re: Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s n  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2018, 18:40
prashant6923 wrote:
Can anyone provide the explanation for Q3?


Hi Prashant,

Here's my take on Question 3:

A. For much of the discipline’s history it was often charged with making racist assumptions about the value of other cultures’ practices. From the passage, there's only one instance of such assumptions and that is in the case of EKman eliminated.
B. The relativist approach is no longer employed by modern anthropologists.The relative approach of anthropologists has not been mentioned.It only talks about the discipline itself.eliminated
C.At one time, anthropologists evaluated cultures based on a culture’s relationships to other cultures in the world. Once it is mentioned and can be concluded, keep it and look other options
D. Members of the anthropological community are more sensitive to accusations of bias than are the members of other disciplines. Comparison with member of other community not mentioned.Eliminated
E. Anthropologists believe that the prevalence of Western cultural norms represents a threat to indigenous peoples around the world.Its more of a generic statement rather than a specific statement used against Ekman in the passage.Eliminated

So, option C is the best answer :-)

Hope this helps.

Thanks
Re: Because the very subject matter of anthropology is so volatile, it’s n &nbs [#permalink] 19 Jul 2018, 18:40
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