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How does ritual affect relationships between groups and entities exter

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How does ritual affect relationships between groups and entities exter  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 09:46
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 109, Date : 27-MAR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


How does ritual affect relationships between groups and entities external to them? According to traditional cultural anthropology, aggregates of individuals who regard their collective well-being as dependent upon a common body of ritual performances use such rituals to give their members confidence, to dispel their anxieties, and to discipline their social organization. Conventional theories hold that rituals come into play when people feel they are unable to control events and processes in their environment that are of crucial importance to them. However, recent studies of the Tsembaga, a society of nomadic agriculturalists in New Guinea, suggest that rituals do more than just give symbolic expression to the relationships between a cultural group and components of its environments; they influence those relationships in measurable ways.

Perhaps the most significant finding of the studies was that , among the Tsembaga, ritual operates as a regulating mechanism in a system of a set of interlocking systems that include such variables as the area of available land,necessary length of fallow periods, size of the human and pig populations, nutritional requirements of pigs and people, energy expended in various activities, and frequency of misfortune. In one sense, the Tsembaga constitute an ecological population in an ecosystem that also includes the other living organisms and nonliving substances found within the Tsembaga territory. By collating measurable data (such as average monthly rainfall, average garden yield, energy expenditure per cultivated acre, and nutritive values of common foods) with the collective decision to celebrate certain rituals, anthropologists have been able to show how Tsembaga rituals allocate energy and important materials. Studies have described how Tsembaga rituals regulate those relationships among people, their pigs, and their gardens that are critical to survival; control meat consumption; conserve marsupial fauna; redistribute land among territorial groups; and limit the
frequency of warfare. These studies have important methodological and theoretical implications, for they enable cultural anthropologists to see that rituals can in fact produce measurable results in an external world.

By focusing on Tsembaga rituals as part of the interaction within an ecosystem, newer quantitative studies permit anthropologists to analyze how ritual operates as a mechanism regulating survival. In the language of sociology, regulation is a “latent function” of Tsembaga ritual, since the Tsembaga themselves see their rituals as pertaining less to their material relations with the ecosystem than to their spiritual relations with their ancestors. In the past, cultural anthropologists might have centered on the Tsembaga’s own interpretations of their rituals in order to elucidate those rituals; but since tools now exist for examining the adaptive aspects of rituals, these anthropologists are in a far better position to appreciate fully the ecological sophistication of rituals, both among the Tsembaga
and in other societies.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A) Propose that the complex functions of ritual have been best analyzed when anthropologists and ecologists have collaborated in order to study human populations as measurable units.
B) Criticize anthropologists’ use of an ecological approach that ignores the symbolic, psychological, and socially cohesive effects of ritual.
C) Evaluate theories of culture that view ritual as an expression of a society’s understanding of its relationship to its environment.
D) Point out the ecological sophistication of Tsembaga ritual and suggest the value of quantitative methods in assessing this sophistication.
E) Argue that the studies showing that the effects of Tsembaga ritual on the environment can be measured prove that the effects of ritual on other environments can also be measured.

2. On the basis of the information in the passage, one might expect to find all of the following in the recent anthropological studies of the Tsembaga except

A) An examination of the caloric and nutritive value of the Tsembaga diet.
B) A study of the relationship between the number of Tsembaga rituals and the number of pigs owned by the Tsembaga.
C) An analysis of the influence of Tsembaga forms of worship on the traditions of neighboring populations.
D) A catalog of the ways in which Tsembaga rituals influence planting and harvest cycles.
E) A matrix summarizing the seasonality of Tsembaga rituals and the type and function of weapons made.

3. Which of the following best expresses the author’s view of ritual?

A) Rituals symbolize the relationships between cultural groups and their environments.
B) As a cultural phenomenon, ritual is multifaceted and performs diverse functions.
C) Rituals imbue the events of the material world with spiritual significance.
D) A society’s view of its rituals yields the most useful information concerning the rituals’ functions.
E) The spiritual significance of ritual is deemed greater than the material benefits of ritual.

4. The author of the passage uses the term “latent function” (Highlighted) in order to suggest that

A) The ability of ritual to regulate the environment is more a matter of study for sociologists than for anthropologists.
B) Sociological terms describe ritual as precisely as anthropological terms.
C) Anthropologists and sociologists should work together to understand the symbolic or psychological importance of rituals.
D) Anthropologists are more interested in the regulatory function of rituals of the Tsembaga than they are the psychological function of rituals.
E) The Tsembaga are primarily interested in the spiritual values that are embodied in their rituals.


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Re: How does ritual affect relationships between groups and entities exter  [#permalink]

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Re: How does ritual affect relationships between groups and entities exter  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2019, 17:57
3
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A) Propose that the complex functions of ritual have been best analyzed when anthropologists and ecologists have collaborated in order to study human populations as measurable units. - out of scope
B) Criticize anthropologists’ use of an ecological approach that ignores the symbolic, psychological, and socially cohesive effects of ritual. - there is no criticism in the passage
C) Evaluate theories of culture that view ritual as an expression of a society’s understanding of its relationship to its environment. - there are no theories of culture described
D) Point out the ecological sophistication of Tsembaga ritual and suggest the value of quantitative methods in assessing this sophistication. - the first part of the sentence is mentioned in 2nd para and the second part of the sentence is mentioned in 3rd para.
E) Argue that the studies showing that the effects of Tsembaga ritual on the environment can be measured prove that the effects of ritual on other environments can also be measured. - there seems to be no argument.

2. On the basis of the information in the passage, one might expect to find all of the following in the recent anthropological studies of the Tsembaga except

A) An examination of the caloric and nutritive value of the Tsembaga diet. - mentioned in 2nd para
B) A study of the relationship between the number of Tsembaga rituals and the number of pigs owned by the Tsembaga. - mentioned in 2nd para
C) An analysis of the influence of Tsembaga forms of worship on the traditions of neighboring populations. - POE
D) A catalog of the ways in which Tsembaga rituals influence planting and harvest cycles. - mentioned on 2nd para
E) A matrix summarizing the seasonality of Tsembaga rituals and the type and function of weapons made. - mentioned in 2nd para

3. Which of the following best expresses the author’s view of ritual?
" rituals do more than just give symbolic expression to the relationships between a cultural group and components of its environments; they influence those relationships in measurable ways." - this line proves it

A) Rituals symbolize the relationships between cultural groups and their environments.- inconsistent
B) As a cultural phenomenon, ritual is multifaceted and performs diverse functions.- given in 1st para
C) Rituals imbue the events of the material world with spiritual significance. - out of scope
D) A society’s view of its rituals yields the most useful information concerning the rituals’ functions. - Inconsistent
E) The spiritual significance of ritual is deemed greater than the material benefits of ritual. - out of scope

4. The author of the passage uses the term “latent function” (Highlighted) in order to suggest that

"In the language of sociology, regulation is a “latent function” of Tsembaga ritual, since the Tsembaga themselves see their rituals as pertaining less to their material relations with the ecosystem than to their spiritual relations with their ancestors." this line states the answer

A) The ability of ritual to regulate the environment is more a matter of study for sociologists than for anthropologists. - no comparison is done
B) Sociological terms describe ritual as precisely as anthropological terms. - out of scope
C) Anthropologists and sociologists should work together to understand the symbolic or psychological importance of rituals. - out of scope
D) Anthropologists are more interested in the regulatory function of rituals of the Tsembaga than they are the psychological function of rituals. - out of scope
E) The Tsembaga are primarily interested in the spiritual values that are embodied in their rituals.
- given in 3rd para
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Re: How does ritual affect relationships between groups and entities exter   [#permalink] 01 Apr 2019, 17:57
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