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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
For qs 2- "Which of the following most accurately describes Clark's opinion of Braverman's position"?

I was confused between option B and D.

I marked D after reading "Put more strongly, technology can be a primary determinant of social and managerial organization. Clark believes this possibility is obscured by social constructivism... For Braverman, shape of technology system is subordinate's desire to wrest control of labor process from workers."

Later, Clark indicated these were extreme views.

From this, I developed a negative view of impact of social constructivism. I inferred social constructism may misguide businesses by negatively portraying role of technology as an instrument which facilitates power being taken away from workers.

mikemcgarry, could you please help me understand what is wrong in my above thinking? Why is D wrong and B is right?
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
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Passage Map:
P1: Introduces study
P2: Discuss importance of Study
P3: Explain constructivists view
P4: Explain Clark's objections

Q3 - Inference
P2 introduces Braverman's position. We are told that Clark believes that the possibility that technology can be a primary determinant of social and managerial organisation has been obscured by sociological fashion - essentially a trend - that, as captured by Braverman, Management's desires / control is superior to technology (inverse of Clark's view on the role of technology).

A - clearly Clark doesn't respect this view. Clark is in support of an opposing view, and he makes it clear that he disapproves of the constructivists view in his belief that the 'possibility' of determinism has been obscured.
B - This is correct - but we need to understand constructivism to get to this.
C - This is incorrect. From what we can tell, he doesn't admire anything about this.
D - This is what a reader would select if they were piecing words of the passage together without paying attention to whats going on. We are just told of the two views and each view has a separate emphasis on technology. We are told that "technological change is construed.... (if you stop reading here you will select D)... as the outcome." We are not told that technological change is impeded. Incorrect
E - He isn't sympathetic at all. He has an opposing view, so why would he be sympathetic. Incorrect.

Q6 - Detail
Rely on P3 to answer this.
We are told "constructivists gain acceptance by misrepresenting determinism"
A - incorrect. No such studies are employed.
B - False. Where are managers cited? They aren't.
C - False. No hypothetical situations are constructed.
D - This is correct, but need to focus on the latter part of this so you don't get confused - "misstatement of an opposing view". We are clearly told that constructivists misrepresent the opposing determinist view.
E - No. Where? Incorrect

Q7 - Inference/ Application - found in P3
A - is correct. We are told that constructivists misrepresent the views of determinists by stating that determinists are 'supposed to believe' ... meaning that they don't actually believe...
B is incorrect - we are told earlier in P3 that determinists views are misrepresented hence why "supposed to.." is used.


Q8 - Inference
In P1 we are told that Jon's study is a solid contribution to the debate. Then in P2 we are told that "characteristics of a technology have a decisive influence on job skills and work organization"
A - incorrect. No
B - conflict isn't discussed. The study suggests that technology should be discussed in relation to interpersonal dynamics, but not conflict specifically.
C - is correct - it encapsulates the main point as stated by sentence 1 of P2.
D is incorrect - where are the benefits mentioned? Tech is only discussed in terms of its determination effect on social and managerial organisation, not benefits.
E is incorrect - Clark's analysis of one technological change is applied to broader technology as a whole... hence P1's claim.
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
Got 6/8 correct. 12.5 mins. I guess that's a bit more than ideal time, but i believe this one is pretty tough to grasp.

Got question number 3 and 5 wrong. After going through the correct answers for those, below are my explanations:

3. RC00013-03. Which of the following most accurately describes Clark’s opinion of Braverman’s position?

For the answer you have to look at Para 2, Line number 15 of the passage: "For Braverman, the shape of technological system is subordinate to the manager's desire....."

I got it wrong, because i overlooked this part.

5. RC00013-07. The information in the passage suggests that Clark believes that which of the following would be true if social constructivism had not gained widespread acceptance?

For this one, you have to look at the last sentence of the passage, and more precisely the statement under "". As the author says that Clark's theory help answer something related to social choice being decisive, that's our answer.
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
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I've posted detailed passage analysis and explanations for all questions in this video:



- CJ
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
in the first answer choice - advocate a more positive attitude toward technological change ?
Can't this be a correct choice ? The author advocated technological change over social constructivism. So, cant we say that he had a positive attitude towards technological change ?

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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
1
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Disclaimer: I am not a GMAT expert. This is my opinion on the passage.
I initially got questions 1 and 4-6 wrong and wanted to understand my mistakes, so I decided to write this for training purposes.

If you like my explanations give some kudus! ?


First, lets understand the passage:
P1: Jon Clark’s study gives solid contribution to a debate between technological determinism and social constructivism.
P2: Clark: tech have decisive influence on job skills and work organization. Moreover, tech can be a primary determinant of social and managerial organization. This possibility is obscured by sociologics, ex. Braverman’s analysis (tech inf. is subordinate to humans).
P3: why constructivism became mainstream - by misrepresenting technological determinism (the other view). They want deterministics to believe that tech directly influencing skills and work organization. [for me, this part was the hardest to understand. I believe the author tries to tell us that constructivisms want deterministic to believe the extreme]
P4: Clark refutes the extremes of constructivists [yes!]. tech = relationship between social and technical. Not only cold technical, but integrated. empirical – his ex. shows significant alters. Some changes att. to humans negotiations and some related to tech capabilities.
Purpose of passage: show how Clark’s study contributes to a debate between technological determinism and social constructivism, and to show Clark’s opinion.

Question 1: The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) advocate a more positive attitude toward technological change irrelevant
(B) discuss the implications for employees of the modernization of a telephone exchange not really.
(C) consider a successful challenge to the constructivist view of technological change I don’t like this answer as it states that the "challenge is successful", but after understanding the passage we can say we don’t have a better option here.
(D) challenge the position of advocates of technological determinism not really.
(E) suggest that the social causes of technological change should be studied in real situations not really.

Question 2: Which of the following statements about the modernization of the telephone exchange is supported by information in the passage?
(A) The new technology reduced the role of managers in labor negotiations. not really.
(B) The modernization was implemented without the consent of the employees directly affected by it. not really.
(C) The modernization had an impact that went significantly beyond maintenance routines. the passage clearly states: “Clark shows how a change at the telephone exchange from maintenance-intensive electromechanical switches to semielectronic switching systems altered work tasks, skills, training opportunities, administration, and organization of workers”.
(D) Some of the maintenance workers felt victimized by the new technology. not really.
(E) The modernization gave credence to the view of advocates of social constructivism. not really. We don’t have a reference to this specific event and their opinions on it.

Question 3: Which of the following most accurately describes Clark’s opinion of Braverman’s position?
(A) He respects its wide-ranging popularity. not really.
(B) He disapproves of its misplaced emphasis on the influence of managers. yes! It’s the tech and the negotiations together.
(C) He admires the consideration it gives to the attitudes of the workers affected. not really.
(D) He is concerned about its potential to impede the implementation of new technologies. not really. He doesn’t like the extremes, but he doesn’t say these extreme influence the implementation of new technologies.
(E) He is sympathetic to its concern about the impact of modern technology on workers. not really.

Question 4: The information in the passage suggests that which of the following statements from hypothetical sociological studies of change in industry most clearly exemplifies the social constructivists’ version of technological determinism?
(A) It is the available technology that determines workers’ skills, rather than workers’ skills influencing the application of technology. definitely! It’s that extreme
(B) All progress in industrial technology grows out of a continuing negotiation between technological possibility and human need. not really. That’s the social constructivism view
(C) Some organizational change is caused by people; some is caused by computer chips. not really. That’s Clark’s view
(D) Most major technological advances in industry have been generated through research and development. irrelevant and not stated in the passage
(E) Some industrial technology eliminates jobs, but educated workers can create whole new skills areas by the adaptation of the technology. not stated in the passage

Question 5: The information in the passage suggests that Clark believes that which of the following would be true if social constructivism had not gained widespread acceptance?
(A) Businesses would be more likely to modernize without considering the social consequences of their actions. not really.
(B) There would be greater understanding of the role played by technology in producing social change. we can see that constructivism is only about the role played by humans in negotiating the influence of tech. if no constructivism, we might understand the influence of the tech itself/both factors
(C) Businesses would be less likely to understand the attitudes of employees affected by modernization. not stated in the passage
(D) Modernization would have occurred at a slower rate. not stated in the passage
(E) Technology would have played a greater part in determining the role of business in society. “greater part in determining” is too radical. It might as well happen now, but constructivism just don’t understand it.

Question 6: According to the passage, constructivists employed which of the following to promote their argument?
(A) Empirical studies of business situations involving technological change not stated in the passage
(B) Citation of managers supportive of their position. not stated in the passage
(C) Construction of hypothetical situations that support their view not stated in the passage
(D) Contrasts of their view with a misstatement of an opposing view this is clearly stated in the passage: “The constructivists gain acceptance by misrepresenting technological determinism”
(E) Descriptions of the breadth of impact of technological change not stated in the passage

Question 7: The author of the passage uses the expression “are supposed to” in line 27 primarily in order to
(A) suggest that a contention made by constructivists regarding determinists is inaccurate clearly reflects the passage. They supposed to believe in inaccurate extremes
(B) define the generally accepted position of determinists regarding the implementation of technology irrelevant. This is what determinists supposed to believe
(C) engage in speculation about the motivation of determinists not stated.
(D) lend support to a comment critical of the position of determinists not stated.
(E) contrast the historical position of determinists with their position regarding the exchange modernization not stated.

Question 8: Which of the following statements about Clark’s study of the telephone exchange can be inferred from information in the passage?
(A) Clark’s reason for undertaking the study was to undermine Braverman’s analysis of the function of technology. not stated.
(B) Clark’s study suggests that the implementation of technology should be discussed in the context of conflict between labor and management. not stated.
(C) Clark examined the impact of changes in the technology of switching at the exchange in terms of overall operations and organization. this is clearly stated in the passage
(D) Clark concluded that the implementation of new switching technology was equally beneficial to management and labor. not stated.
(E) Clark’s analysis of the change in switching systems applies only narrowly to the situation at the particular exchange that he studied. not stated.
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
ChiranjeevSingh wrote:
I've posted detailed passage analysis and explanations for all questions in this video:



- CJ


Hi ChiranjeevSingh,

This was one of the toughest RC passages I came across in the OG. Thank you for breaking it down so well and easily. Have learnt a lot from the video and am looking forward to try your pointers going forward. Would be happy to know more such tips if you have any.

Regards
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
Got 1 wrong and rest of them correct but took a bit more time to complete the entire thing - read the passage and answer all the questions = 20 mins.
Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
Gmatsaiyan wrote:

Official Answers and Explanations


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. advocate a more positive attitude toward technological change
B. discuss the implications for employees of the modernization of a telephone exchange
C. consider a successful challenge to the constructivist view of technological change
D. challenge the position of advocates of technological determinism
E. suggest that the social causes of technological change should be studied in real situations
Main idea
This question asks for an assessment of what the passage as a whole is doing. The passage introduces Clark’s study as a solid contribution (line 3) to the debate between technological determinists and social constructivists. In the second paragraph, Braverman is introduced as holding a position of social constructivism, a position that Clark takes issue with. In the final paragraph, the passage holds that Clark refutes the extremes of the constructivists (line 31), and Clark’s arguments challenging social constructivism are then described.
A. The passage takes no position on the merits of technological change but is concerned only with the role of such change in society.
B. The passage mentions telephone exchange workers as an example that helps illustrate the more central debate between determinists and constructivists.
C. Correct. The passage is mainly concerned with portraying Clark’s view as a successful challenge to constructivism.
D. The passage describes Clark’s view as a successful challenge to social constructivism, not technological determinism.
E. The passage is concerned with describing a challenge to social constructivism and not with suggesting the context in which technological change ought to be studied.
The correct answer is C.

2. Which of the following statements about the modernization of the telephone exchange is supported by information in the passage?
A. The new technology reduced the role of managers in labor negotiations.
B. The modernization was implemented without the consent of the employees directly affected by it.
C. The modernization had an impact that went significantly beyond maintenance routines.
D. Some of the maintenance workers felt victimized by the new technology.
E. The modernization gave credence to the view of advocates of social constructivism.
Supporting ideas
This question requires recognizing information contained in the passage. The passage states in the first paragraph that Clark’s study focused on the modernization of a telephone exchange and the effect this had on maintenance work and workers. After describing Braverman’s analysis in the second paragraph as being at odds with Clark’s views, the passage discusses Clark’s views in more detail in the final paragraph. As part of this discussion, the passage notes that Clark shows how a change from maintenance-intensive electromechanical switches to semielectronic switching systems at the telephone exchange altered work tasks, skills, training opportunities, administration, and organization of workers (lines 42–44). Thus, the passage shows that the modernization of the telephone exchange affected much more than maintenance routines.
A. The passage does not discuss whether new technology reduces the role of managers in labor negotiations.
B. The passage does not discuss the role of employee consent in the modernization of the telephone exchange.
C. Correct. The passage states that the modernization of the telephone exchange affected tasks, skills, training, administration, and the organization of workers.
D. The passage does not suggest that maintenance workers felt victimized by the modernization of the telephone exchange.
E. The passage describes modernization as a fact viewable from a perspective of social constructivism or technological determinism, but that does not in itself support either view.
The correct answer is C.

3. Which of the following most accurately describes Clark’s opinion of Braverman’s position?
A. He respects its wide-ranging popularity.
B. He disapproves of its misplaced emphasis on the influence of managers.
C. He admires the consideration it gives to the attitudes of the workers affected.
D. He is concerned about its potential to impede the implementation of new technologies.
E. He is sympathetic to its concern about the impact of modern technology on workers.
Inference
Answering this question requires inferring what the passage’s author likely believes. The passage describes Braverman’s position as one of mainstream social constructivism (lines 23–24), a position that Clark takes issue with. Although it describes Braverman’s position, the rest of the passage is devoted to showing how Clark’s position takes issue with Braverman’s. In the second paragraph, the passage describes Clark as holding that technology can be a primary determinant of social and managerial organization (lines 9– 11), which suggests that managers are sometimes subordinate to technological change. In lines 15–17, however, Braverman is described as holding that the shape of a technological system is subordinate to the manager’s desire to wrest control of the labor process from the workers, which shows that Clark and Braverman are at odds on this point.
A. Since the passage says that Clark believes an important insight has been obscured by the recent sociological fashion that Braverman’s views exemplify (lines 11–14), one cannot infer that Clark respects the popularity of Braverman’s views.
B. Correct. The passage shows that Clark believes managers to have less influence over how
technology affects an organization than Braverman claims that they have.
C. The passage does not indicate that Clark admires any aspect of Braverman’s position.
D. The passage does not indicate that Clark considers impediments to modernization.
E. The passage does not indicate that Clark is sympathetic to any concerns attributed to Braverman.The correct answer is B.

4. The information in the passage suggests that which of the following statements from hypothetical sociological studies of change in industry most clearly exemplifies the social constructivists’ version of technological determinism?
A. It is the available technology that determines workers’ skills, rather than workers’ skills influencing the application of technology.
B. All progress in industrial technology grows out of a continuing negotiation between technological possibility and human need.
C. Some organizational change is caused by people; some is caused by computer chips.
D. Most major technological advances in industry have been generated through research and development.
E. Some industrial technology eliminates jobs, but educated workers can create whole new skills areas by the adaptation of the technology.
Application
This question requires understanding different points of view discussed in the passage. In the first paragraph, the passage mentions the debate involving technological determinism and social constructivism. In the second and third paragraphs, the passage uses Braverman’s analysis to illustrate the social constructivists’ position and in the third paragraph suggests that the constructivists are misrepresenting technological determinism (line 24). In lines 29–30, the constructivists are reported to hold that technological determinism views technology as existing outside society, capable of directly influencing skills and work organization.
A. Correct. This statement is consistent with the constructivists’ view that technological determinism sees technology as outside of society, influencing workers’ skills.
B. The passage states that the constructivists hold that technological determinists are supposed to believe . . . that machinery imposes appropriate forms of order on society (lines 25–27), suggesting
that no negotiation is present.
C. According to the description of them in the passage, constructivists portray technological determinists as believing that technology, not people, drives organizational change.
D. The passage does not portray either constructivists or determinists as being concerned with technological research and development.
E. The passage does not portray either constructivists or determinists as being concerned with
technology-driven job elimination or creation.
The correct answer is A.

5. The information in the passage suggests that Clark believes that which of the following would be true if social constructivism had not gained widespread acceptance?
A. Businesses would be more likely to modernize without considering the social consequences of their actions.
B. There would be greater understanding of the role played by technology in producing social change.
C. Businesses would be less likely to understand the attitudes of employees affected by modernization.
D. Modernization would have occurred at a slower rate.
E. Technology would have played a greater part in determining the role of business in society.
Inference
Answering this question involves understanding a point of view as it is described in the passage. The passage aligns Clark’s study closely with the technological determinists, summarizing his view in lines 9– 11: technology can be a primary determinant of social and managerial organization. In the followingsentence, the passage states that Clark believes that this possibility is obscured by the recent sociological fashion, exemplified by Braverman’s analysis (lines 11–13). After illustrating Braverman’s analysis, the passage then states that it represents social constructivism.
A. According to the passage, Clark holds that constructivists obscure how modernization might have social consequences.
B. Correct. According to the passage, Clark sees constructivism as obscuring the possibility that technology plays a primary role in social change.
C. The passage does not discuss how the attitudes of employees are perceived by their employers.
D. The passage describes a debate about the history and sociology of technology; it does not suggest that sociological analyses affect the pace of modernization.
E. The passage describes a debate about the history and sociology of technology; it does not suggest that sociological analyses affect the role that technology plays in business.
The correct answer is B.

6. According to the passage, constructivists employed which of the following to promote their argument?
A. Empirical studies of business situations involving technological change
B. Citation of managers supportive of their position
C. Construction of hypothetical situations that support their view
D. Contrasts of their view with a misstatement of an opposing view
E. Descriptions of the breadth of impact of technological change
Supporting ideas
Answering this question involves recognizing information given in the passage. The passage indicates that a debate exists between technological determinists and social constructivists, suggesting that these views are in opposition. The passage goes on to state that constructivists gain acceptance by misrepresenting technological determinism (lines 23–24). This misrepresentation is presented as the alternative to constructivism (lines 27–28), suggesting that constructivists promoted their own view by contrasting it with a misrepresentation of determinists’ views.
A. The passage mentions empirical studies in relation to Clark’s study but not Braverman’s analysis.
B. The passage does not mention that managers were supportive of any particular point of view within the sociology of technology.
C. The passage does not mention any hypothetical situations as being used by the constructivists in support of their view.
D. Correct. The passage indicates that the constructivists have come into fashion by contrasting their own views with a misrepresentation of the views of technological determinists.
E. The passage does not describe the constructivists as making determinations regarding the degree of impact that technological change has on social or managerial organization.
The correct answer is D.

7. The author of the passage uses the expression “are supposed to” in line 25 primarily in order to
A. suggest that a contention made by constructivists regarding determinists is inaccurate
B. define the generally accepted position of determinists regarding the implementation of technology
C. engage in speculation about the motivation of determinists
D. lend support to a comment critical of the position of determinists
E. contrast the historical position of determinists with their position regarding the exchange modernizationEvaluation
This question requires understanding how a particular phrase functions in the passage as a whole. In the third paragraph the passage states that constructivists gain acceptance by misrepresenting technological determinism (lines 23–24) and follows this claim with an example of this misrepresentation, stating that technological determinists are supposed to believe, for example (lines 25–26). This line implies that the constructivist view of the determinists is inaccurate.
A. Correct. The passage uses the expression in part to provide an example of the constructivists’ misrepresentation of the determinists.
B. The passage indicates that the view attributed to the determinists is a misrepresentation, not one that is generally accepted by determinists.
C. The expression in the passage is part of a discussion about the motivation of constructivists, not determinists.
D. The expression in the passage is part of a discussion that is critical of the constructivists, not the determinists.
E. The passage does not describe either the historical position of determinists or their position on the
exchange modernization.
The correct answer is A.

8. Which of the following statements about Clark’s study of the telephone exchange can be inferred from information in the passage?
A. Clark’s reason for undertaking the study was to undermine Braverman’s analysis of the function of technology.
B. Clark’s study suggests that the implementation of technology should be discussed in the context of conflict between labor and management.
C. Clark examined the impact of changes in the technology of switching at the exchange in terms of overall operations and organization.
D. Clark concluded that the implementation of new switching technology was equally beneficial to management and labor.
E. Clark’s analysis of the change in switching systems applies only narrowly to the situation at the particular exchange that he studied.
Inference
This question requires understanding what the passage implies in its discussion of a point of view. The details of Clark’s views are discussed primarily in the final paragraph. The passage states that on an empirical level, Clark demonstrates that technological change regarding switches at the telephone exchange altered work tasks, skills, training opportunities, administration, and organization of workers (lines 42–44). The passage goes on to state Clark’s contention that these changes even influenced negotiations between management and labor unions.
A. The passage indicates that Clark’s study addressed the extremes of both technological determinism and social constructivism. It cites Braverman as a proponent of social constructivism but provides no evidence that Clark’s motivation in beginning his study was specifically to target an analysis offered by Braverman.
B. The passage indicates that Clark attributed some organizational change to the way labor and management negotiated the introduction of technology but does not mention conflict between them.
C. Correct. According to the passage, Clark concludes that changes to the technology of switches had an influence on several aspects of the overall operations and organization of the telephone exchange.
D. The passage does not indicate that Clark assesses the benefits of technological change to either labor or management.E. The passage indicates that Clark believes the change in switching technology influenced many aspects of the overall operations of the telephone exchange.
The correct answer is C.


Thank you for that detailed explanation. However, I have still got a doubt with Question No. 4.

You mention that: "This statement (Option A) is consistent with the constructivists’ view that technological determinism sees technology as outside of society, influencing workers’ skills." However, the passage states that it is an alternative to Constructivists' views. "The alternative to constructivism, in other words, is to view technology as existing outside society, capable of directly influencing skills and work organization."

How would this then exemplify the point?
Not sure what am I missing here :(

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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
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OMG!!
I understood zero!!!!!
One of the worst RC texts I've ever seen :'(
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
GMATNinja EMPOWERgmatVerbal Could you please provide detailed explanation for all questions here? This passage is very tough to comprehend and deal with. Thanks a lot.
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For number 568 on page 453 of the Official Guide 2020, I am confused as to how exactly the constructionists are misrepresenting technological determinism. According to 7-8, the passage says that Clark believes technology has a "decisive influence on job skills and work organization". I have a hard time understanding how what is being said in line 23-30. The constructivists seem to be saying what Clark thinks in that technology does include job skills and the work organization. Where are they "misrepresenting" Clark's view? Is it because Clark seems to understand both ways (e.g. the labor union example)? But even still, wouldn't that just be Clark backtracking on his opinion of technological determinism and not directly what he technological determinism is? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
iammanas wrote:
Gmatsaiyan wrote:

Official Answers and Explanations


Thank you for that detailed explanation. However, I have still got a doubt with Question No. 4.

You mention that: "This statement (Option A) is consistent with the constructivists’ view that technological determinism sees technology as outside of society, influencing workers’ skills." However, the passage states that it is an alternative to Constructivists' views. "The alternative to constructivism, in other words, is to view technology as existing outside society, capable of directly influencing skills and work organization."

How would this then exemplify the point?
Not sure what am I missing here :(

CrackVerbal



iammanas:


social constructivism view: , capable of directly influencing skills and work organization. ( X is influencing Y)

Q4: (A) It is the available technology that determines workers’ skills, rather than workers’ skills influencing the application of technology.
A is restatement of above line

I hope it helps.
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone exchange on exchange maintenance work and workers is a solid contribution to a debate that encompasses two lively issues in the history and sociology of technology: technological determinism and social constructivism.
Clark has opened the point of discussion. He has not favored any view. But he said that there are 2 sides to discuss: TD (technological determinism) and SC ( social constructivism).


Clark makes the point that the characteristics of a technology have a decisive influence on job skills and work organization. Put more strongly, technology can be a primary determinant of social and managerial organization.
He talked of one side.

Clark believes this possibility has been obscured by the recent sociological fashion, exemplified by Braverman’s analysis, that emphasizes the way machinery reflects social choices. For Braverman, the shape of a technological system is subordinate to the manager’s desire to wrest control of the labor process from the workers. Technological change is construed as the outcome of negotiations among interested parties who seek to incorporate their own interests into the design and configuration of the machinery. This position represents the new mainstream called social constructivism.
He talked how other(SC) side obscured TD side

The constructivists gain acceptance by misrepresenting technological determinism: technological determinists are supposed to believe, for example, that machinery imposes appropriate forms of order on society. The alternative to constructivism, in other words, is to view technology as existing outside society, capable of directly influencing skills and work organization.
//some extreme e.g. by SC /misrepresentation

Clark refutes the extremes of the constructivists by both theoretical and empirical arguments.
Rejected extremes of SC side.


Some changes Clark attributes to the particular way management and labor unions negotiated the introduction of the technology, whereas others are seen as arising from the capabilities and nature of the technology itself. Thus Clark helps answer the question: “When is social choice decisive and when are the concrete characteristics of technology more important?”
Conclusion time: Some changes T --> Social and in some cases Social causes T .


woohoo921 wrote:
For number 568 on page 453 of the Official Guide 2020, I am confused as to how exactly the constructionists are misrepresenting technological determinism. According to 7-8, the passage says that Clark believes technology has a "decisive influence on job skills and work organization". I have a hard time understanding how what is being said in line 23-30. The constructivists seem to be saying what Clark thinks in that technology does include job skills and the work organization. Where are they "misrepresenting" Clark's view? Is it because Clark seems to understand both ways (e.g. the labor union example)? But even still, wouldn't that just be Clark backtracking on his opinion of technological determinism and not directly what he technological determinism is? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!



As you can see Clark is not changing his stands. He just rejected extremes of SC and he has not said that TD is best . He is trying to establish relation between technology and social. He concludes in the end.

If you read this passage like a story , you would find that actually what they are talkig in passage is really true.
Does technology decides our society or society influence technology.
Actually it depends , Sometimes new technology can repalce old technology and then we have new skills . But sometimes organization decides about the use of new technology.
Clark is trying to find this relationship.

I hope it makes sense. Hope your doubt is clear.
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
1
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Nikhil wrote:
honneeey wrote:

One of the worst passages I have ever seen!
2 correct only out of 8! :(

workout please please post the OE and how to solve such condense passages in so little time?


honneeey

I guess this is one of The toughest OG passage. So, I wouldn't worry too much about getting only 2 question correct. OE has been provided here https://gmatclub.com/forum/jon-clark-s- ... l#p2160339


I had same felling Nikhil.
I found this passage really tough
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
dear AndrewN,and GMATNinja, GMATNinjaTwo,

I am afraid I have some problem about interpreting views of two debates.

Quote:
Clark makes the point that the characteristics of a technology have a decisive influence on job skills and work organization. Put more strongly, technology can be a primary determinant of social and managerial organization.

this view of Clark is the technology determine the job skill , work organization, right?


Quote:
The constructivists gain acceptance by misrepresenting technological determinism: technological determinists are supposed to believe, for example, that machinery imposes appropriate forms of order on society. The alternative to constructivism, in other words, is to view technology as existing outside society, capable of directly influencing skills and work organization.

but this view of constructivists is the technology is capable of directly influencing skills and work organization?

do these two views seem similar?

because my interpretation, I crossed off A and turned to B for following question, I thought A is oppose the view of constructivists.
Quote:
RC00013-04. The information in the passage suggests that which of the following statements from hypothetical sociological studies of change in industry most clearly exemplifies the social constructivists’ version of technological determinism?
(A) It is the available technology that determines workers’ skills, rather than workers’ skills influencing the application of technology.
(B) All progress in industrial technology grows out of a continuing negotiation between technological possibility and human need.
(C) Some organizational change is caused by people; some is caused by computer chips.
(D) Most major technological advances in industry have been generated through research and development.
(E) Some industrial technology eliminates jobs, but educated workers can create whole new skills areas by the adaptation of the technology
.

I double checked my interpretation, but I failed where is my problem. please help.

thanks in advance
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Re: Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone ex [#permalink]
VERY WELL EXPLAINED MIKE!
mikemcgarry wrote:
sinhap07 wrote:
Hi Mike

Why not A here? The author seems to support Jon's stand in the passage ie a positive bent towards tech.

Dear sinhap07,

I'm happy to respond. :-) My friend, there is a BIG difference between the author's purpose, why she decided to put words down for others to read, vs. something the author happens to believe.

I have absolutely no doubt that if we asked the author, "Do you yourself have a positive attitude toward technological change?" she would say yes. Furthermore, if we asked her "Do you think people in general should have a more positive attitude toward technological change?" she may well say yes to that too. It's not hard to imagine that this is something the author believes.

BUT--and this is very important to understand--that's different from the author's purpose, the reason why the author chose to write precisely about this topic.

You see, the beginnings and conclusions of a passage are important. In the opening sentence, the author says, "Jon Clark’s study of the effect of the modernization of a telephone exchange on exchange maintenance work and workers is a solid contribution to a debate that encompasses two lively issues in the history and sociology of technology: technological determinism and social constructivism." The words "solid contribution" are a positive value judgment, and this about as strong an endorsement as we will see in academic writing. What seems very important to the author is the strength of Clark's contribution: we know the author cares about this, so the purpose for writing should be connected to this.

You see, if the author's purpose were to "advocate a more positive attitude toward technological change," then we would have to see explicit statements about the opinions of people toward technology, or judgments about ways technological change might be portrayed (e.g. in the new, in movies, etc.) There would have to be a bold statement somewhere along the lines of "people should look more favorably at the way technology benefits them." The author's main purpose is always supported by an explicit statement.

In this response I am writing, my purpose is to you answer your question. Someone reading this might infer that I care about the questions on the GMAT or I respect the quality of the official questions or something such as that, but none of these is my specific intention in setting these words down. My specific intention is to address your question.

The primary purpose of a passage cannot be something we simply infer from the passage. Choice (A) might be a plausible answer for an inference question, but it's totally incorrect for a primary purpose question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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