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It is frequently assumed that the mechanization of work has a revoluti

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It is frequently assumed that the mechanization of work has a revoluti  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 14 Oct 2019, 04:16
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It is frequently assumed that the mechanization of work has a revolutionary effect on the lives of the people who operate the new machines and on the society into which the machines have been introduced. For example, it has been suggested that the employment of women in industry took them out of the household, their traditional sphere, and fundamentally altered their position in society. In the nineteenth century, when women began to enter factories, Jules Simon, a French politician, warned that by doing so, women would give up their femininity. Friedrich Engels, however, predicted that women would be liberated from the social, legal, and economic subordination of the family by technological developments that made possible the recruitment of "the whole female sex. . . into public industry." Observers thus differed concerning the social desirability of mechanization's effects, but they agreed that it would transform women's lives.

Historians, particularly those investigating the history of women, now seriously question this assumption of transforming power. They conclude that such dramatic technological innovations as the spinning jenny, the sewing machine, the typewriter, and the vacuum cleaner have not resulted in equally dramatic social changes in women's economic position or in the prevailing evaluation of women's work. The employment of young women in textile mills during the Industrial Revolution was largely an extension of an older pattern of employment of young, single women as domestics. It was not the change in office technology, but rather the separation of secretarial work, previously seen as an apprenticeship for beginning managers, from administrative work that in the 1880's created a new class of "dead-end" jobs, thenceforth considered "women's work." The increase in the numbers of married women emp- loyed outside the home in the twentieth century had less to do with the mechanization of housework and an increase in leisure time for these women than it did with their own economic necessity and with high marriage rates that shrank the available pool of single women workers, previously, in many cases, the only women employers would hire.

Women's work has changed conside-rably in the past 200 years, moving from the household to the office or the factory, and later becoming mostly white-collar instead of blue-collar work. Fundamentally, however, the conditions under which women work have changed little since before the Industrial Revolution: the segregation of occupations by gender, lower pay for women as a group, jobs that require relatively low levels of skill and offer women little opportunity for advancement all persist, while women's household labor remains demanding. Recent historical investigation has led to a major revision of the notion that technology is always inherently revolutionary in its effects on society. Mechanization may even have slowed any change in the traditional position of women both in the labor market and in the home.
Which of the following statements best summarizes the main idea of the passage?

A The effects of the mechanization of women’s work have not borne out the frequently held assumption that new technology is inherently revolutionary.
B Recent studies have shown that mechanization revolutionizes a society’s traditional values and the customary roles of its members.
C Mechanization has caused the nature of women’s work to change since the Industrial Revolution.
D The mechanization of work creates whole new classes of jobs that did not previously exist.
E The mechanization of women’s work, while extremely revolutionary it its effects, has not, on the whole, had the deleterious effects that some critics had feared.





The author mentions all of the following inventions as examples of dramatic technological innovations EXCEPT the

A sewing machine
B vacuum cleaner
C typewriter
D telephone
E spinning jenny





It can be inferred from the passage that, before the Industrial Revolution, the majority of women`s work was done in which of the following settings?

A Textile mills
B Private households
C Offices
D Factories
E Small shops





It can be inferred from the passage that the author would consider which of the following to be an indication of a fundamental alteration in the conditions of women`s work?

A Statistics showing that the majority of women now occupy white-collar positions
B Interviews with married men indicating that they are now doing some household tasks
C Surveys of the labor market documenting the recent creation of a new class of jobs in electronics in which women workers outnumber men four to one
D Census results showing that working women’s wages and salaries are, on the average, as high as those of working men
E Enrollment figures from universities demonstrating that increasing numbers of young women are choosing to continue their education beyond the undergraduate level





The passage states that, before the twentieth century, which of the following was true of many employers?

A They did not employ women in factories.
B They tended to employ single rather than married women.
C They employed women in only those jobs that were related to women’s traditional household work.
D They resisted technological innovations that would radically change women’s roles in the family.
E They hired women only when qualified men were not available to fill the open positions.




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Originally posted by carcass on 14 Mar 2018, 14:59.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 14 Oct 2019, 04:16, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (974).
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Re: It is frequently assumed that the mechanization of work has a revoluti  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2018, 07:34
Hi, I tried to explain Q4. It may help you

It can be inferred from the passage that the author would consider which of the following to be an indication of a fundamental alteration in the conditions of women`s work?

A Statistics showing that the majority of women now occupy white-collar positions -( White collar position doesn't mean that Women will pay higher or equal to Men's pay for the same level of Job) ( In passage it mentioned that
{white-collar instead of blue-collar work. Fundamentally, however, the conditions under which women work have changed little since before the Industrial Revolution: the segregation of occupations by gender, lower pay for women as a group, jobs that require relatively low levels of skill and offer women little opportunity for advancement all persist}

B Interviews with married men indicating that they are now doing some household tasks. Out of Scope ( there is nothing mentioned this).
C Surveys of the labor market documenting the recent creation of a new class of jobs in electronics in which women workers outnumber men four to one -( narrow to the only electronic area- doesn't tell about other areas)
D Census results showing that working women’s wages and salaries are, on the average, as high as those of working men ( This line shows that actually women are hiring for their capabilities and pays also higher than men )-Correct
E Enrollment figures from universities demonstrating that increasing numbers of young women are choosing to continue their education beyond the undergraduate level - Out of scope
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Re: It is frequently assumed that the mechanization of work has a revoluti   [#permalink] 01 Oct 2018, 07:34
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