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# In current historiography, the picture of a consistent, unequivocal de

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Passage breakdown

In the first paragraph (P1), the author:

• Provides an old view in historiography: with capitalization/industrialization came a "a consistent, unequivocal decline in women’s status."
• Contrasts the old view with a new view: a more nuanced picture that takes into account change and continuity, as well as differences in geography/occupation.
• Provides an example of the old view: Pinchbeck's 1930 examination of the cheese-making industry.

In the second paragraph, the author:

• Critiques Pinchbeck's argument using "recent scholarship"

In the third paragraph, the author:

• Undermines Pinchbeck's argument using elements of the "new view" discussed in P1.

For more on the process of breaking down RC passages, check out this article and our live RC videos.

Explanations for individual questions

General Discussion
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This is one horrible passage where I have scored only one out of four questions. The explanation in OG16 is not at all clear.
I would be really thankful if someone explains the problem.

1. I chose B because I understood that available evidence has been re interpreted and hence new ideas have arisen.
A was clearly out. evidence to support..no
C. explain why historians want change rather than continuity. out
D. explore how changes in occupation serve to counter the existing view of past period, no coz it wall already existing view that women were facing trouble/decline.
E. I simply couldn't understand what this meant. examine an area in research in order to exemplify general trend! how the hell is it signifying general trend?

2. Very hard one, but got correct.
A. Before and after revolution, sellers were men,,,,nope
B. Who were the sellers wont tell u who were the house masters....sounds good.
C. no other selling venues.....didn't say anything like that...nope.
D. prior to revolution, sellers were producers, ...nope coz after revolt also there may have been such ppl
E. women not only sold cheese but also veggies. didn't say anything like dat ...nope

3. Very hard one. Got wrong
A. conclusions were already expected, no
B. provide an instance of viewpoint that is being supesceded...didn't even understand the meaning
C. way in which historians built work on their predecessors...nope
D. provide point of reference on women work during revolution...maybe
E. effects of revolution on women...nope....sort of....

4. Again wrong.
A. women did work in American cheese making, no idea.
B. no idea
C. sort of...no idea but selected this.
D and E also no idea.

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Hi mkarthik1,

Explanations:

This is the purpose of the passage :
"In current historiography, the picture of a consistent, unequivocal decline in women’s status with the advent of capitalism and industrialization is giving way to an analysis that not only emphasizes both change (whether improvement or decline) and continuity but also accounts for geographical and occupational variation."

what follows after these lines is an example from 18th century .

So Answer (E) is the correct choice.

Q2:

Look at the Paragraph 2:
" scholars note that women’s control seldom extended to the disposal of the proceeds of their work. In the case of cheese, the rise of factors may have compromised women’s ability to market cheese at fairs. But merely selling the cheese did not necessarily imply access to the money: Davidoff cites the case of an Essex man who appropriated all but a fraction of the money from his wife’s cheese sales."

So even though women used to produce and sell cheese ,they did not had the control on the earnings.

(B) is the correct choice.

Q3:

Paragraph 2:
" Though Pinchbeck portrayed precapitalist, preindustrial conditions as superior to what followed, recent scholarship has seriously questioned the notion of a golden age for women in precapitalist society."

Paragraph 3:
"By focusing on somewhat peripheral operations, moreover, Pinchbeck missed a substantial element of continuity in women’s participation:"

Author does not agree with Pinchbeck studies and points out the flaws .

Only Option (B) talks about it.

Q4:

"Their persistence in English cheese dairying contrasts with women’s early disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying"

We can infer that women did work in American cheese dairying for some time.

Option A is the right choice.

Let me know if you have doubts .
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Hi,

I do agree, the summary of the individual paragraph would really gives understanding about the entire passage.

I'm bit lacking to understand the complete content of the passage.
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Hi Manishkare,

I'm ok with Para 1 and 3 but I'm having query in structure of Paragraph2 as mentioned below:

Para 1
------
I could understand that it explains about the inconvenience of womens work during the timeline between 18th and 19th century.

Para 2
------
I'm not sure about the first four lines:

"Though Pinchbeck portrayed precapitalist, preindustrial conditions as superior to what followed, recent scholarship has seriously questioned the notion of a golden age for women in precapitalist society.
For example, scholars note that women’s control seldom extended to the disposal of the proceeds of their work. "

Para 3:
---------

I could understand that author counters scholar: pinchbeck's argument that womens work continuity in the english cheese dairying during the timeline between 18th and 19th century.
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Hi
Regarding question 4
I now understand why A is correct
But what about B and D?

Their persistence in England cheese......from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying....

So I can't assume that option B:arable agriculture in "northern"England both before and after the agricultural revolution is correct? I just thought that as long as it's not southeast England, the rest could be counted as the ones that did persist in English cheese dairying.

And what about option D: the sale of cheese at local markets in England even after the agricultural revolution
Do they not count as the ones that persisted in English cheese dairying?

I'm so confused
Thanks!

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Hey GMATNinja and GMATNinjaTwo

Can you help to explain Q1 and Q4? below are my thoughts for Q1 and Q4 respectively

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) present recently discovered evidence that supports a conventional interpretation of a historical period
(B) describe how reinterpretations of available evidence have reinvigorated a once-discredited scholarly position
(C) explain why some historians have tended to emphasize change rather than continuity in discussing a particular period
(D) explore how changes in a particular occupation serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period
(E) examine a particular area of historical research in order to exemplify a general scholarly trend

I was torn between D and E and selected D. Because the passage illustrates an example of woman working in the cheese industry and concludes that they paid a vital role and didn't lose power. This counters the prevailing view that they lost power due to industrialization and capitalism

Please correct me if I am wrong

============================================================================

It can be inferred from the passage that women did work in

(A) American cheesemaking at some point prior to industrialization
(B) arable agriculture in northern England both before and after the agricultural revolution
(C) arable agriculture in southeast England after the agricultural revolution, in those locales in which cultural values supported their participation
(D) the sale of cheese at local markets in England even after the agricultural revolution
(E) some areas of American cheese dairying after industrialization

Quote:
Their persistence in English cheese dairying contrasts with women’s early disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying

The above line does say that women worked in American Cheese dairying at some point in time. But Option A at the end mentions "prior to industrialization". The passage doesn't explicitly say this. What if some woman did work after industrialization? I couldn't infer about this from anywhere in the passage. Hence I ruled out Option A

I selected Option C even though I didn't agree with Option C completely. How to select when we have such close options. Please help and correct me if I am wrong
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Poorvasha wrote:
JarvisR wrote:
In current historiography, the picture of a consistent, unequivocal decline in women’s status with the advent of capitalism and industrialization is giving way to an analysis that not only emphasizes both change (whether improvement or decline) and continuity but also accounts for geographical and occupational variation. The history of women’s work in English farmhouse cheese making between 1800 and 1930 is a case in point. In her influential Women Workers and the Industrial Revolution (1930), Pinchbeck argued that the agricultural revolution of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with its attendant specialization and enlarged scale of operation, curtailed women’s participation in the business of cheese production. Earlier, she maintained, women had concerned themselves with feeding cows, rearing calves, and even selling the cheese in local markets and fairs. Pinchbeck thought that the advent of specialization meant that women’s work in cheese dairying was reduced simply to processing the milk. “Dairymen” (a new social category) raised and fed cows and sold the cheese through factors, who were also men. With this narrowing of the scope of work, Pinchbeck believed, women lost business ability, independence, and initiative.

Though Pinchbeck portrayed precapitalist, preindustrial conditions as superior to what followed, recent scholarship has seriously questioned the notion of a golden age for women in precapitalist society. For example, scholars note that women’s control seldom extended to the disposal of the proceeds of their work. In the case of cheese, the rise of factors may have compromised women’s ability to market cheese at fairs. But merely selling the cheese did not necessarily imply access to the money: Davidoff cites the case of an Essex man who appropriated all but a fraction of the money from his wife’s cheese sales.

By focusing on somewhat peripheral operations, moreover, Pinchbeck missed a substantial element of continuity in women’s participation: throughout the period women did the central work of actually making cheese. Their persistence in English cheese dairying contrasts with women’s early disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying. Comparing these three divergent developments yields some reasons for the differences among them. English cheese-making women worked in a setting in which cultural values, agricultural conditions, and the nature of their work combined to support their continued participation. In the other cases, one or more of these elements was lacking.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that women did work in

(A) American cheesemaking at some point prior to industrialization
(B) arable agriculture in northern England both before and after the agricultural revolution
(C) arable agriculture in southeast England after the agricultural revolution, in those locales in which cultural values supported their participation
(D) the sale of cheese at local markets in England even after the agricultural revolution
(E) some areas of American cheese dairying after industrialization

Hi thingocanhnguyen,
Q4 is an inference question. You will find texts directly in the passage to answer this.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that women did work in

(A) American cheesemaking at some point prior to industrialization- The passage states that "Their persistence in English cheese dairying contrasts with women’s early disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying.". This implies they disappeared from American cheese dairying and this means they were involved in this before, hence, the disappearance. This can be inferred.

(B) arable agriculture in northern England both before and after the agricultural revolution - The passage does not talk about arable agriculture in England so this can't be inferred.

(C) arable agriculture in southeast England after the agricultural revolution, in those locales in which cultural values supported their participation - The passage states "Their persistence in English cheese dairying contrasts with women’s early disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying". hence, this can also not be inferred.

(D) the sale of cheese at local markets in England even after the agricultural revolution - The passage states "Earlier, she maintained, women had concerned themselves with feeding cows, rearing calves, and even selling the cheese in local markets and fairs. Pinchbeck thought that the advent of specialization meant that women’s work in cheese dairying was reduced simply to processing the milk". Hence, their role was no longer in the sale of cheese and thus, this can't be inferred.

(E) some areas of American cheese dairying after industrialization- It is clearly mentioned as quoted in options above that women disappeared form American cheese dairying.

Hope this helped! Please consider Kudos if it did
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Poorvasha wrote:
Hi thingocanhnguyen,
Q4 is an inference question. You will find texts directly in the passage to answer this.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that women did work in

(A) American cheesemaking at some point prior to industrialization- The passage states that "Their persistence in English cheese dairying contrasts with women’s early disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying.". This implies they disappeared from American cheese dairying and this means they were involved in this before, hence, the disappearance. This can be inferred.

(B) arable agriculture in northern England both before and after the agricultural revolution - The passage does not talk about arable agriculture in England so this can't be inferred.

(C) arable agriculture in southeast England after the agricultural revolution, in those locales in which cultural values supported their participation - The passage states "Their persistence in English cheese dairying contrasts with women’s early disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying". hence, this can also not be inferred.

(D) the sale of cheese at local markets in England even after the agricultural revolution - The passage states "Earlier, she maintained, women had concerned themselves with feeding cows, rearing calves, and even selling the cheese in local markets and fairs. Pinchbeck thought that the advent of specialization meant that women’s work in cheese dairying was reduced simply to processing the milk". Hence, their role was no longer in the sale of cheese and thus, this can't be inferred.

(E) some areas of American cheese dairying after industrialization- It is clearly mentioned as quoted in options above that women disappeared form American cheese dairying.

Hope this helped! Please consider Kudos if it did

Thanks Poorvasha for the explanation!
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Poorvasha wrote:

Hi VeritasPrepKarishma,

Can you please explain question 1 ?

Thanks

Here is what I make out from the passage:

Till now, there was a picture of a consistent, unequivocal decline in women’s status with the advent of capitalism and industrialization. This is exemplified through Pinchbeck's English cheese making in which women used to do everything in pre capitalist era but were confined to few tasks with the advent of capitalism.

It is now giving way to an analysis that not only emphasizes both change and continuity but also accounts for geographical and occupational variation. The cheese making is discussed again showing that women’s control seldom extended to the disposal of the proceeds of their work so pre capitalist era wasn't all that it is made out to be. Also, it is discussed that women did the most imp work even in capitalist era. Then examples of agriculture and American cheese making are discussed to show differences in case of different occupations.

Now we use elimination on the options of question 1:

The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) present recently discovered evidence that supports a conventional interpretation of a historical period
No, the conventional interpretation is giving way to a new interpretation. So incorrect.

(B) describe how reinterpretations of available evidence have reinvigorated a once-discredited scholarly position
There is no "coming back to an old theory". There is an old theory which is giving way to a new one now. Incorrect.

(C) explain why some historians have tended to emphasize change rather than continuity in discussing a particular period
The historians are now emphasising "change AND continuity". Incorrect

(D) explore how changes in a particular occupation serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period
Changes in English cheese making are discussed to show support for the view prevailing till now. It does not counter it.

(E) examine a particular area of historical research in order to exemplify a general scholarly trend
British cheese making is discussed to exemplify how historical picture is giving way to new analysis.

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GMATNinja wrote:
HKD1710, pikolo2510
Quote:
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) present recently discovered evidence that supports a conventional interpretation of a historical period
(B) describe how reinterpretations of available evidence have reinvigorated a once-discredited scholarly position
(C) explain why some historians have tended to emphasize change rather than continuity in discussing a particular period
(D) explore how changes in a particular occupation serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period
(E) examine a particular area of historical research in order to exemplify a general scholarly trend

The author first tells us that the picture of women's status with the advent of capitalism and industrialization is changing. The old picture (a consistent, unequivocal decline in women’s status with the advent of capitalism and industrialization) is giving way to a new analysis. The author then describes the book by Pinchbeck as an example of the old picture. Finally, the author describes the flaws in this example, demonstrating how the new analysis, unlike the old picture, "emphasizes change (improvement or decline) and continuity and also accounts for geographical and occupational variations."

The author of the passage thus examines a particular area of historical research ("the history of women’s work in English farmhouse cheese making between 1800 and 1930") as an example of how the old picture of women's status is giving way to a new analysis. Choice (E) describes this overall purpose.

Quote:
2. Regarding English local markets and fairs, which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

(A) Both before and after the agricultural revolution, the sellers of agricultural products at these venues were men.
(B) Knowing who the active sellers were at these venues may not give a reliable indication of who controlled the revenue from the sales.
(C) There were no parallel institutions at which American cheese makers could sell their own products.
(D) Prior to the agricultural revolution, the sellers of agricultural products at these venues were generally the producers themselves.
(E) Prior to the agricultural revolution, women sold not only cheese but also products of arable agriculture at these venues.

In the first paragraph, we are told that before the agricultural revolution, women sold cheese at local markets and fairs. In the second paragraph, we are told that "women’s control seldom extended to the disposal of the proceeds of their work" and that "selling the cheese did not necessarily imply access to the money." In other words, just because the women sold the cheese does not mean they controlled the money from those sales. Thus, choice (B) is the best answer.

Quote:
3. The passage describes the work of Pinchbeck primarily in order to

(A) demonstrate that some of the conclusions reached by recent historians were anticipated in earlier scholarship
(B) provide an instance of the viewpoint that, according to the passage’s author, is being superseded
(C) illustrate the ways in which recent historians have built on the work of their predecessors
(D) provide a point of reference for subsequent scholarship on women’s work during the agricultural revolution
(E) show the effect that the specialization introduced in the agricultural and industrial revolutions had on women’s work

As described in the explanation of the first question, the Pinchbeck book is described as an example of the old picture. The old picture is giving way (i.e. "being superseded) by a new analysis. Thus the passage describes the work of Pinchbeck primarily in order to (B) provide an instance of the viewpoint that, according to the passage’s author, is being superseded.

Quote:
4. It can be inferred from the passage that women did work in

(A) American cheesemaking at some point prior to industrialization
(B) arable agriculture in northern England both before and after the agricultural revolution
(C) arable agriculture in southeast England after the agricultural revolution, in those locales in which cultural values supported their participation
(D) the sale of cheese at local markets in England even after the agricultural revolution
(E) some areas of American cheese dairying after industrialization

The key to this question lies in the following portion: "[Women's] persistence in English cheese dairying contrasts with women’s early disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying." If women disappeared from American cheese dairying with the advent of industrialization, then women must have worked in American cheese dairying prior to industrialization. Choice (A) is the best answer.

hello GMATNinja
can please tell me what does q1 choice D mean?
i was confused between choiceD and E
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GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(D) explore how changes in a particular occupation serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period

(D) is a tempting choice because it sounds good. The author certainly talks about cheese making a lot, and does seem to counter a prevailing view of cheese making. However, our job as GMAT experts isn't to pick what sounds good. We need to answer the precise question being asked. This question is asking us for the primary purpose of the passage, so that's what we need to find in our answer choices.

If we choose (D), we say that the overall purpose of this passage is to explore how changes in a particular occupation (various types of operations in cheese making) serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period (the history of women's work in English farmhouse cheese between 1800 and 1930).

But is the author trying to show us how CHANGES in cheese making served to counter the prevailing view? The prevailing view is that women's status declined consistently and unequivocally (without any doubt) with the advent of capitalism and industrialization. Pinchbeck's book fits with the prevailing view because it focuses on the decline (i.e. negative changes) in women's status. But Pinchbeck's book (the prevailing view) MISSES a "substantial element of continuity in women’s participation: throughout the period women did the central work of actually making cheese."

The prevailing view is focused on the changes in cheese making (i.e. the decline in women's status). But the new analysis focuses on improvement, decline, AND continuity. So it's the continuity in English farmhouse cheesemaking--not the changes--that serves to counter the prevailing view.

Hi GMATNinja,

Frankly, I was struggling with D and E as well,
i crossed off D because i cannot make sure Pinchbeck's work is prevailling view,
while, you mentioned Pinchbeck's book fits with the prevailing view because it focuses on the decline , would you please elaborate further, why it is a prevailling view?

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zoezhuyan wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(D) explore how changes in a particular occupation serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period

(D) is a tempting choice because it sounds good. The author certainly talks about cheese making a lot, and does seem to counter a prevailing view of cheese making. However, our job as GMAT experts isn't to pick what sounds good. We need to answer the precise question being asked. This question is asking us for the primary purpose of the passage, so that's what we need to find in our answer choices.

If we choose (D), we say that the overall purpose of this passage is to explore how changes in a particular occupation (various types of operations in cheese making) serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period (the history of women's work in English farmhouse cheese between 1800 and 1930).

But is the author trying to show us how CHANGES in cheese making served to counter the prevailing view? The prevailing view is that women's status declined consistently and unequivocally (without any doubt) with the advent of capitalism and industrialization. Pinchbeck's book fits with the prevailing view because it focuses on the decline (i.e. negative changes) in women's status. But Pinchbeck's book (the prevailing view) MISSES a "substantial element of continuity in women’s participation: throughout the period women did the central work of actually making cheese."

The prevailing view is focused on the changes in cheese making (i.e. the decline in women's status). But the new analysis focuses on improvement, decline, AND continuity. So it's the continuity in English farmhouse cheesemaking--not the changes--that serves to counter the prevailing view.

Hi GMATNinja,

Frankly, I was struggling with D and E as well,
i crossed off D because i cannot make sure Pinchbeck's work is prevailling view,
while, you mentioned Pinchbeck's book fits with the prevailing view because it focuses on the decline , would you please elaborate further, why it is a prevailling view?

"Prevailing" means "dominant" or "most apparent at the time."

We know that Pinchbeck's work is part of the prevailing view because the author structures the citation of Pinchbeck's work to illustrate the current approach to historical research. We can see this in the opening of the passage:

In current historiography, the picture of a consistent, unequivocal decline in women's status...is giving way to an analysis that not only emphasizes both change...and continuity but also accounts for geographical and occupational variation. The history of women's work in English farmhouse cheese making between 1800 and 1930 is a case in point. In her influential Women Workers and the Industrial Revolution (1930), Pinchbeck argued that...

In these first few sentences, we learn that:
• Current historiography is giving way to a new analysis.
• This case of women's work in English farmhouse cheese is an example of the current historiography.
• Pinchbeck's work is an example of this case.

In other words, if we ask, "Why does the author bring up PInchbeck's work?" then the answer is, "To illustrates the case of women's work in English farmhouse cheese, which itself shows how historical scholarship is changing more broadly."

But be careful about getting too hung up on the use of "prevailing" in Choice (D). Remember the full text of this choice:

Quote:
(D) explore how changes in a particular occupation serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period

We've established that we should eliminate (D) because the author's main purpose is not to explore changes in cheese making. That's too narrow of a focus to capture what the author's doing with the passage as a whole.

In any case, I hope that this clarifies how authors use the structure of their writing to link specific examples to more abstract statements. An extremely explicit statement isn't always necessary for us to connect these dots.

I hope this helps!
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It took approximately 12 minutes for me to read and answer all the questions. I got the first question wrong and got rest of the questions correct. It took some 5 minutes for me to read the passage and understand it at a high level to answer the questions. Am I doing something wrong time wise?

Please for last few days, I found that if I spend a little bit more time reading the passage, my accuracy is increasing.
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Re: In current historiography, the picture of a consistent, unequivocal de [#permalink]
5
Kudos

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. present recently discovered evidence that supports a conventional interpretation of a historical period
B. describe how reinterpretations of available evidence have reinvigorated a once-discredited scholarly position
C. explain why some historians have tended to emphasize change rather than continuity in discussing a particular period
D. explore how changes in a particular occupation serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period
E. examine a particular area of historical research in order to exemplify a general scholarly trend
Main idea
This question asks about the passage’s main purpose. The first paragraph initially describes a way in which historiography is changing: the idea of a consistent, monolithic decline in women’s status is being complicated by recent research. The rest of the passage uses the example of Pinchbeck’s interpretation of women’s work in English cheesemaking to show the limits of earlier ideas about women’s status: Pinchbeck’s work illustrates the idea of consistent decline, but recent scholarship has called that work into question.
A. The first paragraph suggests that Pinchbeck’s work represents the conventional position that women’s status declined consistently with the advent of capitalism; according to the passage, recent evidence undermines, rather than supports, that position.
B. According to the passage, reinterpretations of evidence have inspired new interpretations; they have not reinvigorated a discredited position.
C. The passage is concerned with noting both change and continuity, as stated in the first sentence.
D. In the passage, continuity, not change, in a particular occupation—English farmhouse cheesemaking—helps to counter the prevailing view.
E. Correct. The passage’s main purpose is to examine women’s work in English farmhouse cheesemaking so as to illustrate a trend in historiography of women’s status under capitalism and industrializatioThe correct answer is E.

2. Regarding English local markets and fairs, which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
A. Both before and after the agricultural revolution, the sellers of agricultural products at these venues were men.
B. Knowing who the active sellers were at these venues may not give a reliable indication of who controlled the revenue from the sales.
C. There were no parallel institutions at which American cheese makers could sell their own products.
D. Prior to the agricultural revolution, the sellers of agricultural products at these venues were generally the producers themselves.
E. Prior to the agricultural revolution, women sold not only cheese but also
products of arable agriculture at these venues.
Inference
The passage discusses English local markets and fairs in the first and second paragraphs: the first paragraph states that before the agricultural revolution, women had sold cheese in such venues but that after that, factors, who were men, sold the cheese. The second paragraph argues that even though English women in precapitalist, preindustrial times may have at one point sold cheese at fairs,
evidence indicates that in at least one case, a man appropriated most of the
money his wife made from her sales.
A. The first paragraph states that prior to the agricultural revolution, women sold cheese at local markets and fairs.
B. Correct. As the second paragraph indicates, women may have sold the cheese, but there is evidence to suggest that they did not necessarily control the revenue from its sale.
C. The passage does not provide evidence regarding any institutions at which American cheese makers sold their products.
D. While the passage indicates that the producers of English farmhouse cheese may have been the ones who sold that cheese at local markets and fairs, there is no evidence to suggest that this was necessarily the case for other agricultural products.
E. The passage provides no information regarding whether women sold products of arable agriculture in any venue.

3. The passage describes the work of Pinchbeck primarily in order toA. demonstrate that some of the conclusions reached by recent historians were anticipated in earlier scholarship
B. provide an instance of the viewpoint that, according to the passage’s author, is being superseded
C. illustrate the ways in which recent historians have built on the work of their predecessors
D. provide a point of reference for subsequent scholarship on women’s work during the agricultural revolution
E. show the effect that the specialization introduced in the agricultural and industrial revolutions had on women’s work
Evaluation
This question focuses on the function of Pinchbeck’s work in the passage. Pinchbeck’s study of women’s work in cheese production is, according to the passage, an illustration of the view that women’s status declined consistently with the advent of industrialization. That view, the author claims, is being challenged by current historiography.
A. The passage indicates that the conclusions of Pinchbeck, who represents earlier scholarship, did not anticipate recent work, but rather that recent work argues against those conclusions.
B. Correct. Pinchbeck’s work illustrates earlier trends in historiography, trends that the author suggests are now giving way to newer ideas.
C. The passage does not focus on any ways in which recent historians have built on Pinchbeck’s work; instead, it discusses how they have argued against its conclusions.
D. Pinchbeck’s work provides a point of reference only insofar as subsequent scholarship is arguing against it.
E. Pinchbeck makes the argument that specialization caused women’s status to decline, but the passage is concerned with undermining this argument.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that women did work in
A. American cheesemaking at some point prior to industrialization
B. arable agriculture in northern England both before and after the agricultural revolution
C. arable agriculture in southeast England after the agricultural revolution, in those locales in which cultural values supported their participation
D. the sale of cheese at local markets in England even after the agriculturalrevolution
E. some areas of American cheese dairying after industrialization
Inference
This question focuses mainly on the final paragraph of the passage, in which women’s continued work in English cheese dairying is contrasted with what the passage calls their disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England and from American cheese dairying, presumably during the period of industrialization. The correct answer will be a conclusion that can be drawn from
this information.
A. Correct. That women “disappeared” from American cheese dairying during industrialization provides grounds for inferring that they did such dairying work at some point prior to industrialization.
B. The passage says that women disappeared from arable agriculture in southeast England, but it gives no information about their participation in arable agriculture in northern England.
C. The passage makes a blanket statement about women’s disappearance from arable agriculture in southeast England, so there is no reason to infer that any locales supported women’s participation in agriculture.
D. The first paragraph states that factors, who were men, sold cheese after the agricultural revolution.
E. The final paragraph explicitly states that women disappeared from American cheese dairying; thus, there is no basis for inferring that women worked in any areas of that field after industrialization.
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Re: In current historiography, the picture of a consistent, unequivocal de [#permalink]
1. correct
2. wrong
3. wrong
4. correct
indeed a tough passage for me.
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Re: In current historiography, the picture of a consistent, unequivocal de [#permalink]
GMATNinja wrote:
HKD1710, pikolo2510
Quote:
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) present recently discovered evidence that supports a conventional interpretation of a historical period
(B) describe how reinterpretations of available evidence have reinvigorated a once-discredited scholarly position
(C) explain why some historians have tended to emphasize change rather than continuity in discussing a particular period
(D) explore how changes in a particular occupation serve to counter the prevailing view of a historical period
(E) examine a particular area of historical research in order to exemplify a general scholarly trend

The author first tells us that the picture of women's status with the advent of capitalism and industrialization is changing. The old picture (a consistent, unequivocal decline in women’s status with the advent of capitalism and industrialization) is giving way to a new analysis. The author then describes the book by Pinchbeck as an example of the old picture. Finally, the author describes the flaws in this example, demonstrating how the new analysis, unlike the old picture, "emphasizes change (improvement or decline) and continuity and also accounts for geographical and occupational variations."

The author of the passage thus examines a particular area of historical research ("the history of women’s work in English farmhouse cheese making between 1800 and 1930") as an example of how the old picture of women's status is giving way to a new analysis. Choice (E) describes this overall purpose.

dear GMATNinja would you please clarify further this?
Finally, the author describes the flaws in this example, demonstrating how the new analysis, unlike the old picture, "emphasizes change (improvement or decline) and continuity and also accounts for geographical and occupational variations."

I cannot get the change, and geographical and occupational variations from the last paragraph.