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In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman

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In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 279, Date : 20-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman, like Fogel, Engerman, and Genovese, has rightly stressed the slaves' achievements. But unlike these historians, Gutman gives plantation owners little credit for these achievements. Rather, Gutman argues that one must look to the Black family and the slaves' extended kinship system to understand how crucial achievements, such as the maintenance of cultural heritage and the development of communal consciousness, were possible. His findings compel attention.

Gutman recreates the family and extended kinship structure mainly through ingenious use of what any historian should draw upon, quantifiable data, derived in this case mostly from plantation birth registers. He also uses accounts of ex-slaves to probe the human reality behind his statistics. These sources indicate that the two-parent household predominated in slave quarters just, as it did among freed slaves after emancipation. Although Gutman admits that forced separation by sale was frequent, he shows that the slaves' preference, revealed most clearly on plantations where sale was infrequent, was very much for stable monogamy. In less conclusive fashion Fogel, Engerman, and Genovese had already indicated the predominance of two-parent households; however, only Gutman emphasizes the preference for stable monogamy and points out what stable monogamy meant for the slaves' c~ltural heritage. Gutman argues convincingly that the stability of the Black family encouraged the transmission of-and so was crucial in sustaining- the Black heritage of folklore, music, and religious expression from one generation to another, a heritage that slaves were continually fashioning out of their African and American experiences.

Gutman's examination of other facets of kinship also produces important findings. Gutman discovers that cousins rarely married, an exogamous tendency that contrasted sharply with the endogamy practiced by the plantation owners. This preference for exogamy, Gutman suggests, may have derived from West African rules governing marriage, which, though they differed from one tribal group to another, all involved some kind of prohibition against unions with close kin.' This taboo against cousins' marrying is important, argues Gutman, because it is one of many indications of a strong awareness among slaves of an extended kinship network. The fact that distantly related kin would care for children separated from their families also suggests this awareness. When blood relationships were few, as in newly created plantations in the Southwest, "fictive" kinship arrangements took their place until a new pattern of consanguinity developed. Gutman presents convincing evidence that this extended kinship structure-which he believes developed by the mid-to-late eighteenth century-provided the foundations for the strong communal consciousness that existed among slaves. In sum, Gutman's study is significant because it offers a closely reasoned and original explanation of some of the slaves' achievements, one that correctly emphasizes the resources that slaves themselves possessed.

Spoiler: :: OA
C

1. According to the passage, Fogel, Engerman, Genovese, and Gutman have done which of the following?

I. Discounted the influence of plantation owners on slaves' achievements.
II. Emphasized the achievements of slaves.
III. Pointed out the prevalence of the two-parent household among slaves.
IV. Showed the connection between stable monogamy and slaves' cultural heritage.

(A) I and II only
(B) I and IV only
(C) II and III only
(D) I, III, and IV only
(E) II, III, and IV only


Spoiler: :: OA
D

2. With which of the following statements regarding the resources that historians ought to use would the author of the passage be most likely to agree?

(A) Historians ought to make use of written rather than oral accounts.
(B) Historians should rely primarily on birth registers.
(C) Historians should rely exclusively on data that can be quantified.
(D) Historians ought to make use of data that can be quantified.
(E) Historians ought to draw on earlier historical research but they should do so in order to refute it.


Spoiler: :: OA
D

3. Which of the following statements about the formation of the Black heritage of folklore, music, and religious expression is best supported by the information presented in the passage?

(A) The heritage was formed primarily out of the experiences of those slaves who attempted to preserve the stability of their families.
(B) The heritage was not formed out of the experiences of those slaves who married their cousins.
(C) The heritage was formed more out of the African than out of the American experiences of slaves.
(D) The heritage was not formed out of the experiences of only a single generation of slaves.
(E) The heritage was formed primarily out of slaves' experiences of interdependence on newly created plantations in the Southwest.


Spoiler: :: OA
D

4. It can be inferred from the passage that, of the following, the most probable reason why a historian of slavery might be interested in studying the type of plantations mentioned is that this type would

(A) give the historian access to the most complete plantation birth registers
(B) permit the historian to observe the kinship patterns that had been most popular among West African tribes
(C) provide the historian with evidence concerning the preference of freed slaves for stable monogamy
(D) furnish the historian with the opportunity to discover the kind of marital commitment that slaves themselves chose to have
(E) allow the historian to examine the influence of slaves' preferences on the actions of plantation owners


Spoiler: :: OA
A

5. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the West African rules governing marriage mentioned EXCEPT:

(A) The rules were derived from rules governing fictive kinship arrangements.
(B) The rules forbade marriages between close kin.
(C) The rules are mentioned in Herbert Gutman's study.
(D) The rules were not uniform in all respects from one West African tribe to another.
(E) The rules have been considered to be a possible source of slaves' marriage preferences.


Spoiler: :: OA
E

6. Which of the following statements concerning the marriage practices of plantation owners during the period of Black slavery in the United States can most logically be inferred from the information in the passage?

(A) These practices began to alter sometime around the mid-eighteenth century.
(B) These practices varied markedly from one region of the country to another.
(C) Plantation owners usually based their choice of marriage partners on economic considerations.
(D) Plantation owners often married earlier than slaves.
(E) Plantation owners often married their cousins.


Spoiler: :: OA
E

7. W.hich of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

(A) The author compares and contrasts the work of several historians and then discusses areas for possible new research.
(B) The author presents his thesis, draws on the work of several historians for evidence to support his thesis, and concludes by reiterating his thesis.
(C) The author describes some features of a historical study and then uses those features to put forth his own argument.
(D) The author summarizes a historical study, examines two main arguments from the study, and then shows how the arguments are potentially in conflict with one another.
(E) The author presents the general argument of a historical study, describes the study in more detail, and concludes with a brief judgment of the study's value.


Spoiler: :: OA
B

8. Which of the following is the most appropriate title for the passage, based on its content?

(A) The Influence of Herbert Gutman on Historians of Slavery in the United States
(B) Gutman's Explanation of How Slaves Could Maintain a Cultural Heritage and Develop a Communal Consciousness
(C) Slavery in the United States: New Controversy About an Old Subject
(D) The Black Heritage of Folklore, Music, and Religious Expression: Its Growing Influence
(E) The Black Family and Extended Kinship Structure: How They Were Important for the Freed Slave


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Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 20 Aug 2019, 08:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2019, 00:59
In question 3, Why option A is incorrect ?
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Re: In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2019, 09:58
Hello everyone,

Can somebody help me in understanding, what does "Plantation" or "Plantation owners" mean here ?

Thank you for your help in advance.

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Re: In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2019, 08:12
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Re: In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2019, 07:48
dharam44 wrote:
In question 3, Why option A is incorrect ?


Option A says "(A) The heritage was formed PRIMARILY out of the experiences of those slaves who attempted to preserve the stability of their families. "

The word "PRIMARILY" makes this option wrong. Since, the passage only says "Gutman argues convincingly that the stability of the Black family encouraged the transmission of-and so was crucial in sustaining- the Black heritage of folklore, music, and religious expression from one generation to another, a heritage that slaves were continually fashioning out of their African and American experiences."

The stability ENCOURAGED and it is not the PRIMARY reason. Hence, it is too strong and thus wrong.

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Re: In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2019, 09:02
2
Explanations:

1. According to the passage, Fogel, Engerman, Genovese, and Gutman have done which of the following?


I. Discounted the influence of plantation owners on slaves' achievements. - Only Gutman discounted it, not everyone. So, this option is wrong.
II. Emphasized the achievements of slaves. - Everyone did emphasize on it. This is correct.
III. Pointed out the prevalence of the two-parent household among slaves. - Gutman's study talks about it further but Everyone pointed it out. This is correct.
IV. Showed the connection between stable monogamy and slaves' cultural heritage. - Only Gutman showed it, not everyone. This is wrong.


Only 2 and 3 are right. Thus, answer option (C).

2. With which of the following statements regarding the resources that historians ought to use would the author of the passage be most likely to agree?

2nd Paragraph 1st Line: Gutman recreates the family and extended kinship structure mainly through ingenious use of what any historian should draw upon, quantifiable data, derived in this case mostly from plantation birth registers.

This says Historians should draw upon quntifiable data. Two close options (C) and (D).

(C) Historians should rely exclusively on data that can be quantified. - EXCLUSIVELY is a very strong word used here so that eliminates this option.
(D) Historians ought to make use of data that can be quantified. - This matches well with the passage.

Thus, the answer option (D).

3. Which of the following statements about the formation of the Black heritage of folklore, music, and religious expression is best supported by the information presented in the passage?

(A) The heritage was formed primarily out of the experiences of those slaves who attempted to preserve the stability of their families. - PRIMARILY is a very strong word here. Passage says The stability ENCOURAGED and it is not the PRIMARY reason(2nd Paragraph last line).
(B) The heritage was not formed out of the experiences of those slaves who married their cousins. - This is not supported from the passage.
(C) The heritage was formed more out of the African than out of the American experiences of slaves. - Not supported from the passage.
(D) The heritage was not formed out of the experiences of only a single generation of slaves. - From 2nd paragraph last line, "folklore, music, and religious expression from one generation to another ", this tells that the transmission took place from one generation to another.
(E) The heritage was formed primarily out of slaves' experiences of interdependence on newly created plantations in the Southwest. - Not supported in the passage

(D) is a good match.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that, of the following, the most probable reason why a historian of slavery might be interested in studying the type of plantations mentioned is that this type would

2nd Paragraph mid way: he shows that the slaves' preference, revealed most clearly on plantations where sale was infrequent, was very much for stable monogamy.

Answer option should talk about slaves preferences.

(A) give the historian access to the most complete plantation birth registers - That particular plantation was referred to know slaves preferences not for the birth register.
(B) permit the historian to observe the kinship patterns that had been most popular among West African tribes - Kinship comes in 3rd paragraph. And, we are looking for slaves preferences.
(C) provide the historian with evidence concerning the preference of freed slaves for stable monogamy - This plantation hosted people who are slaves and not freed slaves. Hence, this is wrong.
(D) furnish the historian with the opportunity to discover the kind of marital commitment that slaves themselves chose to have - This matches exactly with the lines quoted above.
(E) allow the historian to examine the influence of slaves' preferences on the actions of plantation owners - Opposite of what we are looking for. We are looking for an option where slaves preferences were independent from outside influences(plantation owners).

5. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the West African rules governing marriage mentioned EXCEPT:

EXCEPT question. We have to find out what is false.
3rd Paragraph: This preference for exogamy, Gutman suggests, may have derived from West African rules governing marriage, which, though they differed from one tribal group to another, all involved some kind of prohibition against unions with close kin.'

(A) The rules were derived from rules governing fictive kinship arrangements. - There were rules regd kinship marriages. But no other rules were derived from it.
(B) The rules forbade marriages between close kin. - TRUE
(C) The rules are mentioned in Herbert Gutman's study. - From the text highlighted, the author says rules differed from one tribe to another. Thus, the author will be aware of the rules only if he knew the West African rules before or if it is mentioned in the book. If we didn't have option A, this would be okay since we have an ambiguity.
(D) The rules were not uniform in all respects from one West African tribe to another. - TRUE
(E) The rules have been considered to be a possible source of slaves' marriage preferences. - TRUE

(A) is correct.

6. Which of the following statements concerning the marriage practices of plantation owners during the period of Black slavery in the United States can most logically be inferred from the information in the passage?

3rd paragraph 2nd line: an exogamous tendency that contrasted sharply with the endogamy practiced by the plantation owners
This talks about the marriage practice done by Plantation owners. They prefered endogamy.(i.e. marrying within close family: cousins)

(A) These practices began to alter sometime around the mid-eighteenth century. - No support from the passage
(B) These practices varied markedly from one region of the country to another. - No support from the passage
(C) Plantation owners usually based their choice of marriage partners on economic considerations. - No support from the passage
(D) Plantation owners often married earlier than slaves. - No support from the passage
(E) Plantation owners often married their cousins. - This is mentioned in the passage

(E) is correct.

7. W.hich of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

(A) The author compares and contrasts the work of several historians and then discusses areas for possible new research. - Author compares only in the first para and doesn't discuss areas of new research
(B) The author presents his thesis, draws on the work of several historians for evidence to support his thesis, and concludes by reiterating his thesis. - It is not the author's thesis. It is Gutman's. And draws mainly from Gutman's work not several historians. This option is wrong on many levels.
(C) The author describes some features of a historical study and then uses those features to put forth his own argument. - He doesn't put his own argument.
(D) The author summarizes a historical study, examines two main arguments from the study, and then shows how the arguments are potentially in conflict with one another. - There is no potential conflict in the passage
(E) The author presents the general argument of a historical study, describes the study in more detail, and concludes with a brief judgment of the study's value. - This matches with the structure of the argument. 1st paragraph talks about the achievement of slaves coz of kinship. 2nd and 3rd talks in detail and ends with a judgement of the study saying it is reasoned well and gives original explanation.

(E) is correct.

8. Which of the following is the most appropriate title for the passage, based on its content?

The title should resemble how Gutman's study is a comprehensive explanation of the slaves achievements.

(A) The Influence of Herbert Gutman on Historians of Slavery in the United States - Out of scope. The passage doesn't talk about the influence he had on other historians.
(B) Gutman's Explanation of How Slaves Could Maintain a Cultural Heritage and Develop a Communal Consciousness - Matches with our main idea.
(C) Slavery in the United States: New Controversy About an Old Subject - No controversy in the passage
(D) The Black Heritage of Folklore, Music, and Religious Expression: Its Growing Influence - We don't know anything about the growing influence. And this misses out Gutman.
(E) The Black Family and Extended Kinship Structure: How They Were Important for the Freed Slave - The passage only talks a little about Freed Slave. Hence, this one can't be the title.

(B) is the answer.


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Re: In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2019, 07:27
2
All correct in 14 mins 30 seconds, including 6 mins to read
Para 1- study of slavery in the United States- Gutman argues that one must look to the Black family and the slaves' extended kinship system to understand how crucial achievements
Para 2- Gutman uses quantifiable data, Gutman emphasizes the preference for stable monogamy and points out what stable monogamy meant for the slaves' cultural heritage
Para 3- Gutman's findings- cousins rarely married; significance of study


1. According to the passage, Fogel, Engerman, Genovese, and Gutman have done which of the following?

I. Discounted the influence of plantation owners on slaves' achievements. - incorrect, But unlike these historians, Gutman gives plantation owners little credit for these achievements.
II. Emphasized the achievements of slaves. - correct, Herbert Gutman, like Fogel, Engerman, and Genovese, has rightly stressed the slaves' achievements
III. Pointed out the prevalence of the two-parent household among slaves. - correct,
In less conclusive fashion Fogel, Engerman, and Genovese had already indicated the predominance of two-parent households
IV. Showed the connection between stable monogamy and slaves' cultural heritage. - incorrect, only Gutman did

(C) II and III only

2. With which of the following statements regarding the resources that historians ought to use would the author of the passage be most likely to agree?
(C) Historians should rely exclusively on data that can be quantified. - incorrect, 'exclusively' makes it incorrect
(D) Historians ought to make use of data that can be quantified. - Correct
Gutman recreates the family and extended kinship structure mainly through ingenious use of what any historian should draw upon, quantifiable data, derived in this case mostly from plantation birth registers.

3. Which of the following statements about the formation of the Black heritage of folklore, music, and religious expression is best supported by the information presented in the passage?
(D) The heritage was not formed out of the experiences of only a single generation of slaves.
Gutman argues convincingly that the stability of the Black family encouraged the transmission of-and so was crucial in sustaining- the Black heritage of folklore, music, and religious expression from one generation to another, a heritage that slaves were continually fashioning out of their African and American experiences.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that, of the following, the most probable reason why a historian of slavery might be interested in studying the type of plantations mentioned is that this type would
(D) furnish the historian with the opportunity to discover the kind of marital commitment that slaves themselves chose to have
Although Gutman admits that forced separation by sale was frequent, he shows that the slaves' preference, revealed most clearly on plantations where sale was infrequent, was very much for stable monogamy.

5. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the West African rules governing marriage mentioned EXCEPT:

(A) The rules were derived from rules governing fictive kinship arrangements. - Correct, no rules were derived from "fictive" kinship arrangements
(B) The rules forbade marriages between close kin. - incorrect, This taboo against cousins' marrying is important,
(C) The rules are mentioned in Herbert Gutman's study. - incorrect
(D) The rules were not uniform in all respects from one West African tribe to another. - incorrect, Gutman suggests, may have derived from West African rules governing marriage, which, though they differed from one tribal group to another,
(E) The rules have been considered to be a possible source of slaves' marriage preferences. - incorrect, Gutman suggests, may have derived from West African rules governing marriage, which, though they differed from one tribal group to another,


6. Which of the following statements concerning the marriage practices of plantation owners during the period of Black slavery in the United States can most logically be inferred from the information in the passage?
(E) Plantation owners often married their cousins. - Correct
Gutman discovers that cousins rarely married, an exogamous tendency that contrasted sharply with the endogamy practiced by the plantation owners.

7. W.hich of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

(A) The author compares and contrasts the work of several historians and then discusses areas for possible new research. - incorrect, the author compares only in first para and he does not discuss areas for possible new research
(B) The author presents his thesis, draws on the work of several historians for evidence to support his thesis, and concludes by reiterating his thesis.- incorrect, the author does not present his thesis
(C) The author describes some features of a historical study and then uses those features to put forth his own argument. - incorrect, the author does not put his own argument
(D) The author summarizes a historical study, examines two main arguments from the study, and then shows how the arguments are potentially in conflict with one another. - no two main arguments are examined
(E) The author presents the general argument of a historical study, describes the study in more detail, and concludes with a brief judgment of the study's value. - Correct


8. Which of the following is the most appropriate title for the passage, based on its content?

(A) The Influence of Herbert Gutman on Historians of Slavery in the United States - incorrect, influence of HG on other historians is not discussed
(B) Gutman's Explanation of How Slaves Could Maintain a Cultural Heritage and Develop a Communal Consciousness - Correct
(C) Slavery in the United States: New Controversy About an Old Subject - incorrect, too broad and there is no controversy
(D) The Black Heritage of Folklore, Music, and Religious Expression: Its Growing Influence - incorrect, misses on HG
(E) The Black Family and Extended Kinship Structure: How They Were Important for the Freed Slave- incorrect, misses on HG
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Re: In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 10:51
Skywalker18 generis carcass GMATNinja nightblade354

I did not understand the meaning of the lines mentioned below. These lines are mentioned in para 2 in the passage.
Please help

Quote:
Although Gutman admits that forced separation by sale was frequent, he shows that the slaves' preference, revealed most clearly on plantations where sale was infrequent, was very much for stable monogamy.

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In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 11:29
1
jkbk1732 wrote:
5. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the West African rules governing marriage mentioned EXCEPT:

EXCEPT question. We have to find out what is false.
3rd Paragraph: This preference for exogamy, Gutman suggests, may have derived from West African rules governing marriage, which, though they differed from one tribal group to another, all involved some kind of prohibition against unions with close kin.'

(A) The rules were derived from rules governing fictive kinship arrangements. - There were rules regd kinship marriages. But no other rules were derived from it.

(C) The rules are mentioned in Herbert Gutman's study. - From the text highlighted, the author says rules differed from one tribe to another. Thus, the author will be aware of the rules only if he knew the West African rules before or if it is mentioned in the book. If we didn't have option A, this would be okay since we have an ambiguity.

(A) is correct.

jkbk1732 , these answers are very good.

Two slight edits.
The West African rules about marriage pertained to kin. Whether those rules derived from other rules (about fictive kin) is not mentioned.

You wrote:
Quote:
5. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the West African rules governing marriage mentioned EXCEPT:

EXCEPT question. We have to find out what is false.
3rd Paragraph: This preference for exogamy, Gutman suggests, may have derived from West African rules governing marriage, which, though they differed from one tribal group to another, all involved some kind of prohibition against unions with close kin.'

(A) The [West African] rules were derived from rules governing fictive kinship arrangements. - There were rules regd kinship marriages. But no other rules were derived from it.

Option A incorrectly says that West African marriage rules were derived from other rules in West Africa that governed "fictive kinship arrangements."

No. The only West African marriage rules we know about pertain to real kin, not fictive kin.

And we have no idea whether they were derived from ANY other West African rule, let alone a specific rule about marriage and fictive kin.

(This question could confuse because "fictive kin" played a huge role in enslaved African Americans' sense of community in the U.S., a fact that the last paragraph discusses.)

West African marriage rules were about actual kin. We know nothing the origin of the rule.

Your answer to 5 (A) is correct.
Your statement is the opposite, though, of what the question asks.
I read your sentence as: (1) no other [subsequent] rules [in the U.S.] WERE derived from West African rules. Maybe the "it" is the problem.

Or (2) "no other rules were derived from West African kinship marriage rules."

We have no info in the passage about (1) or (2) as I wrote them.

You may have intended to write your answer to comport with what I have outlined as an answer with the correct historical sequence.

If so, this: But no other rules were derived from it.
should be written this way: We have no idea whether the West African rules mentioned were derived at all, let alone from what source or other rule.
Quote:
5. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the West African rules governing marriage mentioned EXCEPT:

(C) The rules are mentioned in Herbert Gutman's study. - From the text highlighted, the author says rules differed from one tribe to another. Thus, the author will be aware of the rules only if he knew the West African rules before or if it is mentioned in the book. If we didn't have option A, this would be okay since we have an ambiguity.

I am not sure I understand what you mean.

Whether the rules varied doesn't matter. Highlighted parts matter:

This preference for exogamy,
Gutman suggests may have derived from West African rules governing marriage,
which, though they differed from one tribal group to another, all involved some kind of prohibition against unions with close kin.

Did Gutman mention the rules in his study?

Yes. "Gutman suggests" = Gutman mentions the rules.

Gutman's mention of West African rules is clear, not ambiguous.

Just a heads up. Nice work. +1
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In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 11:34
Skywalker18 wrote:
All correct in 14 mins 30 seconds, including 6 mins to read
Para 1- study of slavery in the United States- Gutman argues that one must look to the Black family and the slaves' extended kinship system to understand how crucial achievements
Para 2- Gutman uses quantifiable data, Gutman emphasizes the preference for stable monogamy and points out what stable monogamy meant for the slaves' cultural heritage
Para 3- Gutman's findings- cousins rarely married; significance of study . . .

Skywalker18 , I omitted all your answers, even though I wanted to highlight a few exceptionally good answers. I'll save space and just say: outstanding analysis. +1
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In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 12:23
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warrior1991 wrote:
Skywalker18 generis carcass GMATNinja nightblade354

I did not understand the meaning of the lines mentioned below. These lines are mentioned in para 2 in the passage.
Please help

Quote:
Although Gutman admits that forced separation by sale was frequent, he shows that the slaves' preference, revealed most clearly on plantations where sale was infrequent, was very much for stable monogamy.

warrior1991 , great catch. The sentence is very subtle.

What you highlight is a sentence that discusses the evidence that underlies one of Gutman's central tenets: the [stable] black family helped make slaves' achievements possible.
What the sentence reveals about the evidence strengthens Gutman's argument.

Essentially
• some data is spotty. Gutman admits that he cannot can't tell very much about stable marriage and family patterns if the data is from a place in which people are literally being sold away from each other.
• if forced sales were frequent, although Gutman can't conclude much from that data,
• from areas in which forced sales were rare, Guzman CAN conclude that enslaved blacks very much preferred stable monogamy (and thus stable families).

This evidence helps to support Gutman's claim that two social institutions—the black family, and kinship networks—made blacks' achievements possible, and that blacks deserve the credit for their own achievements. White slave owners do not deserve the credit.

If enslaved blacks themselves chose stable monogamy (and were not coerced by whites), then Gutman's argument about the black family is strengthened—it existed as a voluntary social institution and it was chosen in a situation without one kind of duress.

If enslaved blacks strongly preferred and chose stable monogamy whenever possible and wherever measurable, then
1) white slaveowners don't get much credit ,
2) the other historians who failed to give African Americans credit for their own achievements are at best misguided, and
3) Gutman's strong argument (that stable families create and transmit culture and cohesiveness to the next generation) just got stronger.

Hope that helps.
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Re: In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 15:18
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Actually, the sentence must be always interpreted in the context as a whole. At least in the frame of the first part of the passage. In which the main goal is to show how the slave couples were stable and they were bonded through monogamy.

That phrase is there to show us how, even though the separations were frequent due to the sale, INSIDE the plantations where the couple were somehow close (at least at the end of the day): they were clearly monogamous.

Hope this helps.

Ask if something is still unclear to you.
Regards
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In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 20:23
carcass wrote:
Actually, the sentence must be always interpreted in the context as a whole. At least in the frame of the first part of the passage. In which the main goal is to show how the slave couples were stable and they were bonded through monogamy.

That phrase is there to show us how, even though the separations were frequent due to the sale, INSIDE the plantations where the couple were somehow close (at least at the end of the day): they were clearly monogamous.

Hope this helps.

Ask if something is still unclear to you.
Regards

Actually, the sentence was interpreted in the context of the passage as a whole.

I amended the other post to make that fact really easy to see.

I think that the sentence strengthens one critical link in Gutman's argument: the black family was central to enslaved blacks' achievements.

Well, first there has to BE a stable black family, and in areas in which forced sales of human slaves were frequent, a stable family is not a given.
This sentence copes with that issue handily. It also reveals that the best evidence supports Gutman's argument about the centrality of the black family.

The sentence:
Although Gutman admits that forced separation by sale was frequent, he shows that the slaves' preference, revealed most clearly on plantations where sale was infrequent, was very much for stable monogamy.

From that sentence, I glean that
(1) Some evidence is not reliable. In areas in which forced sales were frequent, the evidence is skewed.
"Forced sales" are not conducive to "stable families."

(2) On the other hand, in some areas, forced sales were rare.
In those areas, the enslaved blacks' preferences were revealed "most clearly."
What was their preference? "Very much" for stable monogamy.
Gutman uses that data.

Gutman argues that stable monogamy and kinship networks explain how blacks were able to achieve remarkable things.

In fact, he argues, we cannot begin to understand how such achievements were possible until we understand the black family and kinship networks.

Under oppressive and often hideous conditions, enslaved black people fashioned social institutions through which they were able to create and transmit culture and to develop communal consciousness in which people took care of one another.

Evidence tending to support that marvel probably deserves a mention in the logical structure of an argument (as does evidence from which this author did not need to hide).
That good evidence gets its mention in this very sentence.
YMMV.
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In his 1976 study of slavery in the United States, Herbert Gutman   [#permalink] 28 Aug 2019, 20:23
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