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# In 1896 a Georgia couple suing for damages

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In 1896 a Georgia couple suing for damages [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2017, 02:32
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OG 10 Passage 7

In 1896 a Georgia couple suing for damages in the accidental death of their two year old was told that since the child had made no real economic contribution to the family, there was no liability for damages. In contrast, less than a century later, in 1979, the parents of a three-year-old sued in New York for accidental-death damages and won an award of \$750,000.

The transformation in social values implicit in juxtaposing these two incidents is the subject of Viviana Zelizer’s excellent book, Pricing the Priceless Child. During the nineteenth century, she argues, the concept of the “useful” child who contributed to the family economy gave way gradually to the present-day notion of the “useless” child who, though producing no income for, and indeed extremely costly to, its parents, is yet considered emotionally “priceless.” Well established among segments of the middle and upper classes by the mid-1800’s, this new view of childhood spread throughout society in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries as reformers introduced child-labor regulations and compulsory education laws predicated in part on the assumption that a child’s emotional value made child labor taboo.

For Zelizer the origins of this transformation were many and complex. The gradual erosion of children’s productive value in a maturing industrial economy, the decline in birth and death rates, especially in child mortality, and the development of the companionate family (a family in which members were united by explicit bonds of love rather than duty) were all factors critical in changing the assessment of children’s worth. Yet “expulsion of children from the ‘cash nexus,’ although clearly shaped by profound changes in the economic, occupational, and family structures,” Zelizer maintains, “was also part of a cultural process ‘of sacrelization’ of children’s lives.” Protecting children from the crass business world became enormously important for late-nineteenth-century middle-class Americans, she suggests; this sacralization was a way of resisting what they perceived as the relentless corruption of human values by the marketplace.

In stressing the cultural determinants of a child’s worth, Zelizer takes issue with practitioners of the new “sociological economics,” who have analyzed such traditionally sociological topics as crime, marriage, education, and health solely in terms of their economic determinants. Allowing only a small role for cultural forces in the form of individual “preferences,” these sociologists tend to view all human behaviors as directed primarily by the principle of maximizing economic gain. Zelizer is highly critical of this approach, and emphasizes instead the opposite phenomenon: the power of social values to transform price. As children became more valuable in emotional terms, she argues, their “exchange” or “surrender” value on the market, that is, the conversion of their intangible worth into cash terms, became much greater.
1. It can be inferred from the passage that accidental-death damage awards in America during the nineteenth century tended to be based principally on the

(A) earnings of the person at time of death
(B) wealth of the party causing the death
(C) degree of culpability of the party causing the death
(D) amount of money that had been spent on the person killed
(E) amount of suffering endured by the family of the person killed

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
A

[Reveal] Spoiler: OE
A is the best answer. In the first paragraph, the author cites an accidental-death case from nineteenth-century America in which the absence of economic contribution on the part of a deceased child was ruled sufficient grounds to deny the awarding of damages to the child’s parents. The author goes on to discuss how this case typified attitudes that persisted even into the twentieth
century. It can be inferred from this that in nineteenth-century America the chief consideration in determining damages in an accidental-death case was the deceased person’s earnings.
There are no evidence in the passage to suggest that the factors in B, C, D and E were of primary concern in determining accidental-death damages in nineteenth-century America.

2. It can be inferred from the passage that in the early 1800’s children were generally regarded by their families as individuals who

(A) needed enormous amounts of security and affection
(B) required constant supervision while working
(C) were important to the economic well-being of a family
(D) were unsuited to spending long hours in school
(E) were financial burdens assumed for the good of society

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C

[Reveal] Spoiler: OE
In the second paragraph, the author describes how during the nineteenth century the concept of the “ ‘useful’ child who contributed to the family economy” (lines 23-24) gradually gave way to the present-day notion of the economically “useless” but emotionally “priceless” child. This new view of childhood was “well established among segments of the middle and upper classes by the
mid-1800’s” and “spread throughout society in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries” (lines 31-38). Thus in the early 1800’s, prior to the shift in the valuation of children, families valued the role children had to play in the family’s economic well-being.
A and E describe attitude more in accord with the present-day view of childhood. B and D address issues that are not raised in the passage.

3. Which of the following alternative explanations of the change in the cash value of children would be most likely to be put forward by sociological economists as they are described in the passage?

(A) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because parents began to increase their emotional investment in the upbringing of their children.

(B) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because their expected earnings over the course of a lifetime increased greatly.

(C) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because the spread of humanitarian ideals resulted in a wholesale reappraisal of the worth of an individual.

(D) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because compulsory education laws reduced the supply, and thus raised the costs, of available child labor.

(E) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because of changes in the way negligence law assessed damages in accidental death cases.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
B

[Reveal] Spoiler: OE
According to the author, practitioners of the new “sociological economics” explain sociological phenomena “solely in terms of their economic determinants” and “tend to view all human behavior as directed primarily by the principle of maximizing economic gain’ (lines 85-98). This choice provides just such an economic explanation for the nineteenth-century rise in the cash
value of children.
A paraphrases Zelizer’s own explanation, which is at odds with that of the sociological economists.
C uses social values and emotional factors to explain an even broader revaluation of individual worth. D uses an economic argument to explain the change, but here the economic factors at work are the result of a change. E provides a legal explanation for the change.

4. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) review the literature in a new academic sub-field
(B) present the central thesis of a recent book
(C) contrast two approaches to analyzing historical change
(D) refute a traditional explanation of a social phenomenon
(E) encourage further work on a neglected historical topic

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
B

[Reveal] Spoiler: OE
In the first paragraph, the author contrasts two incidents that are said to exemplify the transformation in social values that forms the subject of Zelizer’s book. The second and third paragraphs consist of a brief history of that transformation, as Zelizer presents it, and an account of the factors she considers important in bringing it about. In the last paragraph, the author explains how Zelizer’s thesis differs from that of sociological economists. Thus, the passage serves primarily to present the central thesis of Zelizer’s book.
A and E misrepresent the subject matter of the passage. D mispresents the author’s approach. C is incorrect because although the passage does contrast two approaches, this contrast takes place only in the final paragraph.

5. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following statements was true of American families over the course of the nineteenth century?

(A) The average size of families grew considerably.
(B) The percentage of families involved in industrial work declined dramatically.
(C) Family members became more emotionally bonded to one another.
(D) Family members spent an increasing amount of time working with each other.
(E) Family members became more economically dependent on each other.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C

[Reveal] Spoiler: OE
In the third paragraph, the author cites Zelizer’s contention that the new view of childhood that developed in nineteenth-century America was due in part to “the development of the companionate family (a family in which members were united by explicit bonds of love rather than duty)”(lines 54-58). From this it can be inferred that the emotional bonds between family members became increasingly important during this period.
There are no information in the passage to support the other answer choices.

6. Zelizer refers to all of the following as important influences in changing the assessment of children’s worth EXCEPT changes in

(A) the mortality rate
(B) the nature of industry
(C) the nature of the family
(D) attitudes toward reform movements
(E) attitudes toward the marketplace

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D

[Reveal] Spoiler: OE
Although reform movements are mentioned in lines 39-45, the passage does not discuss attitudes or changes in attitudes toward those movements. This choice is therefore NOT among the influences Zelizer is said to regard as important in changing the assessment of children’s worth.
A, B and C are mentioned in lines 48-58 as factors Zelizer regards as “critical in changing the assessment of children’s worth”. E is mentioned in lines 70-80, which describe how the “sacralization” of children’s lives represented “a way of resisting what they <middle-class Americans> perceived as the relentless corruption of human values by the marketplace.”

7. Which of the following would be most consistent with the practices of sociological economics as these practices are described in the passage?

(A) Arguing that most health-care professionals enter the field because they believe it to be the most socially useful of any occupation

(B) Arguing that most college students choose majors that they believe will lead to the most highly paid jobs available to them

(C) Arguing that most decisions about marriage and divorce are based on rational assessments of the likelihood that each partner will remain committed to the relationship

(D) Analyzing changes in the number of people enrolled in colleges and universities as a function of changes in the economic health of these institutions

(E) Analyzing changes in the ages at which people get married as a function of a change in the average number of years that young people have lived away from their parents

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
B

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #3 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #4 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #5 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #6 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #7 OA

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Re: In 1896 a Georgia couple suing for damages [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2017, 21:22
broall wrote:
OG 10 Passage 7

In 1896 a Georgia couple suing for damages in the accidental death of their two year old was told that since the child had made no real economic contribution to the family, there was no liability for damages. In contrast, less than a century later, in 1979, the parents of a three-year-old sued in New York for accidental-death damages and won an award of \$750,000.

The transformation in social values implicit in juxtaposing these two incidents is the subject of Viviana Zelizer’s excellent book, Pricing the Priceless Child. During the nineteenth century, she argues, the concept of the “useful” child who contributed to the family economy gave way gradually to the present-day notion of the “useless” child who, though producing no income for, and indeed extremely costly to, its parents, is yet considered emotionally “priceless.” Well established among segments of the middle and upper classes by the mid-1800’s, this new view of childhood spread throughout society in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries as reformers introduced child-labor regulations and compulsory education laws predicated in part on the assumption that a child’s emotional value made child labor taboo.

For Zelizer the origins of this transformation were many and complex. The gradual erosion of children’s productive value in a maturing industrial economy, the decline in birth and death rates, especially in child mortality, and the development of the companionate family (a family in which members were united by explicit bonds of love rather than duty) were all factors critical in changing the assessment of children’s worth. Yet “expulsion of children from the ‘cash nexus,’ although clearly shaped by profound changes in the economic, occupational, and family structures,” Zelizer maintains, “was also part of a cultural process ‘of sacrelization’ of children’s lives.” Protecting children from the crass business world became enormously important for late-nineteenth-century middle-class Americans, she suggests; this sacralization was a way of resisting what they perceived as the relentless corruption of human values by the marketplace.

In stressing the cultural determinants of a child’s worth, Zelizer takes issue with practitioners of the new “sociological economics,” who have analyzed such traditionally sociological topics as crime, marriage, education, and health solely in terms of their economic determinants. Allowing only a small role for cultural forces in the form of individual “preferences,” these sociologists tend to view all human behaviors as directed primarily by the principle of maximizing economic gain. Zelizer is highly critical of this approach, and emphasizes instead the opposite phenomenon: the power of social values to transform price. As children became more valuable in emotional terms, she argues, their “exchange” or “surrender” value on the market, that is, the conversion of their intangible worth into cash terms, became much greater.
1. It can be inferred from the passage that accidental-death damage awards in America during the nineteenth century tended to be based principally on the

(A) earnings of the person at time of death
(B) wealth of the party causing the death
(C) degree of culpability of the party causing the death
(D) amount of money that had been spent on the person killed
(E) amount of suffering endured by the family of the person killed

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
A

2. It can be inferred from the passage that in the early 1800’s children were generally regarded by their families as individuals who

(A) needed enormous amounts of security and affection
(B) required constant supervision while working
(C) were important to the economic well-being of a family
(D) were unsuited to spending long hours in school
(E) were financial burdens assumed for the good of society

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C

3. Which of the following alternative explanations of the change in the cash value of children would be most likely to be put forward by sociological economists as they are described in the passage?

(A) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because parents began to increase their emotional investment in the upbringing of their children.

(B) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because their expected earnings over the course of a lifetime increased greatly.

(C) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because the spread of humanitarian ideals resulted in a wholesale reappraisal of the worth of an individual.

(D) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because compulsory education laws reduced the supply, and thus raised the costs, of available child labor.

(E) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because of changes in the way negligence law assessed damages in accidental death cases.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
B

4. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) review the literature in a new academic sub-field
(B) present the central thesis of a recent book
(C) contrast two approaches to analyzing historical change
(D) refute a traditional explanation of a social phenomenon
(E) encourage further work on a neglected historical topic

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
B

5. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following statements was true of American families over the course of the nineteenth century?

(A) The average size of families grew considerably.
(B) The percentage of families involved in industrial work declined dramatically.
(C) Family members became more emotionally bonded to one another.
(D) Family members spent an increasing amount of time working with each other.
(E) Family members became more economically dependent on each other.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C

6. Zelizer refers to all of the following as important influences in changing the assessment of children’s worth EXCEPT changes in

(A) the mortality rate
(B) the nature of industry
(C) the nature of the family
(D) attitudes toward reform movements
(E) attitudes toward the marketplace

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D

7. Which of the following would be most consistent with the practices of sociological economics as these practices are described in the passage?

(A) Arguing that most health-care professionals enter the field because they believe it to be the most socially useful of any occupation

(B) Arguing that most college students choose majors that they believe will lead to the most highly paid jobs available to them

(C) Arguing that most decisions about marriage and divorce are based on rational assessments of the likelihood that each partner will remain committed to the relationship

(D) Analyzing changes in the number of people enrolled in colleges and universities as a function of changes in the economic health of these institutions

(E) Analyzing changes in the ages at which people get married as a function of a change in the average number of years that young people have lived away from their parents

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
B

broall
Can you please post OEs for Qs : 2,4,6?
For Q4, how can we infer the book is 'recent'?
For Q6, where is it mentioned that nature of industry changed?

PS: thanks for the post:)

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 47

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Re: In 1896 a Georgia couple suing for damages [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2017, 21:33
broall
Can you please post OEs for Qs : 2,4,6?
For Q4, how can we infer the book is 'recent'?
For Q6, where is it mentioned that nature of industry changed?

PS: thanks for the post:)

Done, enjoy
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Re: In 1896 a Georgia couple suing for damages [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2017, 08:41
Please provide explanation for question 3 .
It was a good passage and the language was hard .
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Re: In 1896 a Georgia couple suing for damages [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2017, 09:34
arvind910619 wrote:
Please provide explanation for question 3 .
It was a good passage and the language was hard .
Let me try:
Let's see the question:
Quote:
3. Which of the following alternative explanations of the change in the cash value of children would be most likely to be put forward by sociological economists as they are described in the passage?

If you notice, all options start with "the cash value rose because...". So we just need to find what sociological economists would argue caused the rise in cash value of children.
This is what passage says :

- sociological economics allow only a small role for cultural forces in the form of individual “preferences,”
- these sociologists tend to view all human behaviors as directed primarily by the principle of maximizing economic gain.

sociological economist don't give a damn about cultural influences playing a part n change in ash value of children. Sociological economists believe that cash value of children rose just because these children could be used to maximise economic gain, i.e. extra income for the family, over their lifetime.

Lets see the options:

(A) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because parents began to increase their emotional investment in the upbringing of their children.
This is complete opposite. Moreover if we look closely, this view is held by Zelizer.

(B) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because their expected earnings over the course of a lifetime increased greatly.
Only answer tying "economic gain" to the children. Their value increased because the expected earnings increased.

(C) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because the spread of humanitarian ideals resulted in a wholesale reappraisal of the worth of an individual.
humanitarian ideals (social ideals) reslted in a wholesale re-appraisal? We don't know whether it happened wholesale (one time reappraisal) or gradually. Moreover, no mention of this in sociological economists' discussion

(D) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because compulsory education laws reduced the supply, and thus raised the costs, of available child labor.
This answer "economic gain" to children but in "effect" of another cause-which is not mentioned (or mentioned elsewhere) in the passage. This answer combines two parts of the passage incorrectly.

(E) The cash value of children rose during the nineteenth century because of changes in the way negligence law assessed damages in accidental death cases.
Purely out of scope, isnt' it?

Does it make sense?
Was I of any help?

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Re: In 1896 a Georgia couple suing for damages   [#permalink] 08 Aug 2017, 09:34
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