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I eschew the notion of racial kinship. I do so in order to be free to

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I eschew the notion of racial kinship. I do so in order to be free to  [#permalink]

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I eschew the notion of racial kinship. I do so in order to be free to claim what the distinguished political theorist Michael Sandel labels ―the unencumbered self.‖ The unencumbered self is free and independent, ―unencumbered by aims and attachments it does not choose for itself,‖ Sandel writes. ―Freed from the sanctions of custom and tradition and inherited status, unbound by moral ties antecedent to choice, the self is installed as sovereign, cast as the author of the only obligations that constrain.‖ Sandel believes that the unencumbered self is an illusion and that the yearning for it is a manifestation of a shallow liberalism that ―cannot account for certain moral and political obligations that we commonly recognize, even prize‖—―obligations of solidarity, religious duties, and other moral ties that may claim us for reasons unrelated to a choice,‖ which are ―indispensable aspects of our moral and political
experience.‖

Sandel‘s objection to those who, like me, seek the unencumbered self is that they fail to appreciate loyalties that should be accorded moral force partly because they influence our identity, such that living by these attachments ―is inseparable from understanding ourselves as the particular persons we are—as members of this family or city or nation or people, as bearers of that history, as citizens of this republic.‖ There is an important virtue in this assertion of the value of black life. It combats something still eminently in need of challenge: the assumption that because of their race black people are stupid, ugly, and low, and that because of their race white people are smart, beautiful, and righteous. But within some of the forms that this assertiveness has taken are important vices—including the belief that because of racial kinship blacks ought to value blacks more highly than others.

I shun racial pride because of my conception of what should properly be the object of pride for an individual: something that he or she has accomplished. I cannot feel pride in some state of affairs that is independent of my contribution to it. The colour of my skin, the width of my nose, the texture of my hair, and the various other signs that prompt people to label me black constitute such a state of affairs. I did not achieve my racial designation. It was something I inherited—like my creed and socio-economic starting place and sex—and therefore something I should not be credited with.

In taking this position I follow Frederick Douglass, the great nineteenth-century reformer, who declared that ―the only excuse for pride in individuals is in the fact of their own achievements.‖ I admire Sandel‘s work and have learned much from it. But a major weakness in it is a conflation of ―is‖ and ―ought.‖ Sandel privileges what exists and has existed so much that his deference to tradition lapses into historical determinism. He faults the model of the unencumbered self because, he says, it cannot account for feelings of solidarity and loyalty that most people have not chosen to impose upon themselves but that they cherish nonetheless. This represents a fault, however, only if we believe that the unchosen attachments Sandel celebrates should be accorded moral weight. I am not prepared to do that simply on the basis that such attachments exist, have long existed, and are passionately felt. Feelingsof primordial attachment often represent mere prejudice or superstition, a hangover of the childhood socialization from which many people never recover.
1. With an eye towards the passage as a whole, which of the following represents the author‘s primary focus?
A. Identity formation as self-definition according to family, history, and
culture, or as self-definition according to independent accomplishment
B. The individual, unencumbered self and the validity of Michael Sandel‘s
position on this type of identity
C. Racial kinship and how its rejection results in accomplishment
D. Individual versus group consciousness
E. A critique of the encumbered and the unencumbered self

2. Through his discussion of the works and beliefs of Michael Sandel, the author suggests all of the following characteristics of the encumbered self EXCEPT:
A. it maintains many of the interpersonal connections established in childhood.
B. it is influenced by history.
C. it is the product of independent accomplishment.
D. it is manifested in those who embrace racial kinship.
E. it is neither free nor independent

3. Which of the following might the author find antithetical to his stance on identity, racial kinship, and racial pride?
A. The right of every student to equal treatment by professors and
teachers
B. The Million Man March, in which 500,000 African-American men
gathered for a demonstration of racial solidarity in Washington, DC in
1995
C. The stance of public municipal hospital emergency rooms to provide
all citizens with healthcare regardless of whether or not they are
indigent
D. The recognition of Elijah Lovejoy, a white man murdered in the early
nineteenth century for supporting the abolition of slavery
E. Employees of a company protesting against the retrenchment of a
large number of workers by the company


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Originally posted by GmatWizard on 22 Oct 2018, 05:50.
Last edited by GmatWizard on 22 Oct 2018, 11:50, edited 1 time in total.
Senior Manager
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Joined: 05 Feb 2018
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Re: I eschew the notion of racial kinship. I do so in order to be free to  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 05:52

Topic and Scope

- The author discusses the idea of self-determination and contrasts
it with idea of racial pride.

Mapping the Passage


¶1 describes Michael Sandel‘s idea of ―the unencumbered self.‖ Sandel disagrees with
the idea, while the author supports it.
¶2 acknowledges that elements of racial pride can serve a valuable purpose but go too
far in valuing the qualities of one race over another.
¶3 describes the author‘s view that pride should rest in personal accomplishments
rather than race.
¶4 describes weaknesses in Sandel‘s view.
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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
G
Joined: 05 Feb 2018
Posts: 304
Location: India
Concentration: Finance
GPA: 2.77
WE: General Management (Other)
Re: I eschew the notion of racial kinship. I do so in order to be free to  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 05:52

Answers and Explanation


1)

The question is essentially asking the scope of the author‘s argument. Take a
moment to predict this before scanning the choices. (A) takes some paraphrasing
to untangle, but fits the author‘s main focus: self-identity in relation to race and
history.
(A): The correct answer
(B): Faulty Use of Detail. This is the scope of ¶s1 and 2, but not that of the entire
passage.
(C): Distortion. The author doesn‘t argue that rejecting racial kinship causes
individual accomplishment, only that the two can go hand-in-hand.
(D): Out of Scope. The author discusses racial pride, but this doesn‘t necessarily
mean the same thing as group consciousness, which is never discussed in the
passage.
(E): Incorrect, as described above.

2)

Carefully examine the wording of the question, which asks about the encumbered
self. Since the author is a big fan of the unencumbered self, he‘ll presumably feel
negatively towards the encumbered self. (C) conflicts with the author‘s point in ¶1
that the unencumbered self is ―free and independent.‖ If this is true, the
encumbered self must be the opposite.
(A): Opposite. The author discusses the encumbered self as the product of
childhood attachments in ¶4.
(B): Opposite. The author discusses history as a foundation and even to some
extent definition of the encumbered self in ¶s1 and 4.
(C): The correct answer(D): Opposite. This fits with the author‘s contention that racial pride and the
encumbered self go hand-in-hand.
(E): Opposite, as described above.

3)

The author‘s view is that one should make one‘s own decisions without being tied
to ideas of race and history. Look for an answer choice that contradicts this: Since
(B) is an event consisting of a single race gathering to advance racial identify, the
author would take issue. He thinks that racial identity should take a back seat to
individual decisions.
(A): Opposite. The author would be in favour of treatment that isn‘t based on race
or history.
(B): The correct answer
(C): Opposite. Since the author is in favour of an individual identity that isn‘t based
on history, which poverty tends to be, he‘d be all for hospitals that didn‘t
discriminate based on economic conditions.
(D): Opposite. The author would have no problem with recognizing an individual
achievement. In this case, the achievement would be all the better in the
author‘s eyes since it was an attempt to eliminate a system based on race.
(E): Out of scope.

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Re: I eschew the notion of racial kinship. I do so in order to be free to &nbs [#permalink] 22 Oct 2018, 05:52
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I eschew the notion of racial kinship. I do so in order to be free to

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