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*Discussion of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States

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*Discussion of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 12 Oct 2019, 09:25
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 386, Date: 12-Oct-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

*Discussion of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States has focused on two factors: social standing and the loss of national culture. In general, excessive stress is placed on one factor or the other, depending on whether the commentator is North American or Puerto Rican. Many North American social scientists, such as Oscar Handlin, Joseph Fitz-patrick, and Oscar Lewis, consider Puerto Ricans as the most recent in a long line of ethnic entrants to occupy the lowest rung on the social ladder. Such a "sociodemographic" approach tends to regard assimilation as a benign process, taking for granted increased economic advantage and inevitable cultural integration, in a supposedly egalitarian context. However, this approach fails to take into account the colonial nature of the Puerto Rican case, with this group, unlike their European predecessors, coming from a nation politically subordinated to the United States. Even the "radical" critiques of this mainstream research model, such as the critique developed in Divided Society, attach the issue of ethnic assimilation too mechanically to factors of economic and social mobility and are thus unable to illuminate the cultural subordination of Puerto Ricans as a colonial minority.

In contrast, the "colonialist" approach of island-based writers such as Eduardo Seda-Bonilla, Manuel Maldonado-Denis, and Luis Nieves-Falcon tends to view assimilation as the forced loss of national culture in an unequal contest with imposed foreign values. There is, of course, a strong tradition of cultural accommodation among other Puerto Rican thinkers. The writings of Eugenio Fernandez Mendez clearly exemplify this tradition, and many supporters of Puerto Rico's commonwealth status share the same universalizing orientation. But the Puerto Rican intellectuals who have written most about the assimilation process in the United States all advance cultural nationalist views, advocating the preservation of minority cultural distinctions and rejecting what they see as the subjugation of rani colonial nationalities.

This cultural and political emphasis is appropriate, but the colonialist thinkers misdirect it, overlooking the class relations at work in both Puerto Rican and North American history. They pose the clash of national cultures as an absolute polarity, with each culture understood as static and undifferentiated. Yet both the Puerto Rican and North American traditions have been subject to constant challenge from cultural forces within their own societies, forces that may move toward each other in ways that cannot be written off as mere "assimilation." Consider, for example, the indigenous and Afro-Caribbean traditions in Puerto Rican culture and how they influence and are influenced by other Caribbean cultures and Black cultures in the United States. The elements of coercion and inequality, so central to cultural contact according to the colonialist framework, play no role in this kind of convergence of racially and ethnically different elements of the same social class.

Spoiler: :: OA
D

1. The author's main purpose is to

(A) criticize the emphasis on social standing in discussions of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States
(B) support the thesis that assimilation has not been a benign process for Puerto Ricans
(C) defend a view of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans that emphasizes the preservation of national culture
(D) indicate deficiencies in two schools of thought on the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States
(E) reject the attempt to formulate a general frame. work for discussion of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States

Spoiler: :: OA
E

2. According to the passage, cultural accommodation is promoted by

(A) Eduardo Seda-Bonilla
(C) the author of Divided Society
(D) the majority of social scientists writing on immigration
(E) many supporters of Puerto Rico's common-wealth status

Spoiler: :: OA
A

3. It can be inferred from the passage that a writer such as Eugenio Fernandez Mendez would most likely agree with which of the following statements concerning members of minority ethnic groups?

(A) It is necessary for the members of such groups to adapt to the culture of the majority.
(B) The members of such groups generally encounter a culture that is static and undifferentiated.
(C) Social mobility is the most important feature of the experience of members of such groups.
(D) Social scientists should emphasize the cultural and political aspects of the experience of members of such groups.
(E) The assimilation of members of such groups requires the forced abandonment of them authentic national roots.

Spoiler: :: OA
A

4. The author implies that the Puerto Rican writers who have written most about assimilation do NOT do which of the following?

(A) Regard assimilation as benign.
(B) Resist cultural integration.
(C) Describe in detail the process of assimilation.
(D) Take into account the colonial nature of the Puerto Rican case.
(E) Criticize supporters of Puerto Rico's commonwealth status.

Spoiler: :: OA
E

5. It can be inferred from the passage that the "colonialist" approach is so called because its practitioners

(A) support Puerto Rico's commonwealth status
(B) have a strong tradition of cultural accommodation
(C) emphasize the class relations at work in both Puerto Rican and North American history
(D) pose the clash of national cultures as an absolute polarity in which each culture is understood as static and undifferentiated
(E) regard the political relation of Puerto Rico to the United States as a significant factor in the experience of Puerto Ricans

Spoiler: :: OA
C

6. The author regards the emphasis by island-based writers on the cultural and political dimensions of assimilation as

(A) ironic
(B) dangerous
(C) fitting but misdirected
(D) illuminating but easily misunderstood
(E) peculiar but benign

Spoiler: :: OA
D

7. The example discussed in lines 51-54 is intended by the author to illustrate a

(A) strength of the sociodemographic approach
(B) strength of the "colonialist" approach
(C) weakness of the sociodemographic approach
(D) weakness of the "colonialist" approach
(E) weakness of the cultural-accommodationist approach

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Originally posted by carcass on 12 Jan 2019, 04:50.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 12 Oct 2019, 09:25, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (898).
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Re: *Discussion of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States  [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2019, 05:18
can you please post OE for all the questions?
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Re: *Discussion of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States  [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2019, 07:52
"The writings of Eugenio Fernandez Mendez clearly exemplify this tradition, and many supporters of Puerto Rico's commonwealth status share the same universalizing orientation."
I think E is the correct answer for Q2.
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Re: *Discussion of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States  [#permalink]

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31 Dec 2019, 17:45
5. It can be inferred from the passage that the "colonialist" approach is so called because its practitioners

(A) support Puerto Rico's commonwealth status
(B) have a strong tradition of cultural accommodation
(C) emphasize the class relations at work in both Puerto Rican and North American history
(D) pose the clash of national cultures as an absolute polarity in which each culture is understood as static and undifferentiated
(E) regard the political relation of Puerto Rico to the United States as a significant factor in the experience of Puerto Ricans...correct

There are only two parts in the paragraph has correlation with the answers….
In the beginning of the paragraph2

In contrast, the "colonialist" approach of island-based writers such as Eduardo Seda-Bonilla, Manuel Maldonado-Denis, and Luis Nieves-Falcon tends to view assimilation as the forced loss of national culture in an unequal contest with imposed foreign values.

In the beginning of the paragraph3

This cultural and political emphasis is appropriate, but the colonialist thinkers (the "colonialist" approach of island-based writers )misdirect it, overlooking the class relations at work in both Puerto Rican and North American history….
-so the “colonialist thinkers” overlook the class relations at work in both Puerto Rican and North American history….

How can we infer, just from the two sentences above, that the "colonialist" approach is so called because its practitioners “regard the political relation of Puerto Rico to the United States as a significant factor in the experience of Puerto Ricans”

Or maybe its because that the meaning of “colonialist thinkers” is “thinkers deem colonialist—or say assimilation-- as the forced loss of national culture, and so they’re not the supporter to "colonialist" approach….
-thus the view to those "colonialist" approach’s practitioners(supporter to "colonialist" approach) is opposite to those “colonialist thinkers” and "the colonialist approach of island-based writers"….so they ”regard” the political relation of Puerto Rico to the United States “as a significant factor” in the experience of Puerto Ricans…..???
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Re: *Discussion of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States  [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2020, 09:17
+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions
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Re: *Discussion of the assimilation of Puerto Ricans in the United States   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2020, 09:17
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