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Most recent work on the history of leisure in Europe has been based on

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Most recent work on the history of leisure in Europe has been based on  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2019, 08:52
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 436, Date: 06-Nov-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Most recent work on the history of leisure in Europe has been based on the central hypothesis of a fundamental discontinuity between preindustrial and industrial soci-eties. According to this view, the modern idea of leisure did not exist in medieval and early modern Europe: the modern distinction between the categories of work and leisure was a product of industrial capitalism. Preindustrial societies had festivals (together with informal and irregular breaks from work), while industrial societies have leisure in the form of weekends and vacations. The emergence of leisure is there-fore part of the process of modernization. If this theory is correct, there is what Michel Foucault called a conceptual rupture between the two periods, and so the very idea of a history of leisure before the Industrial Revolution is an anachronism.

To reject the idea that leisure has had a continuous history from the Middle Ages to the present is not to deny that late medieval and early modern Europeans engaged in many pursuits that are now commonly considered leisure or sporting activities— jousting, hunting, tennis, card playing, travel, and so on—or that Europe in this period was dominated by a privileged class that engaged in these pursuits. What is involved in the discontinuity hypothesis is the recognition that the people of the Middle Ages and early modern Europe did not regard as belonging to a common category activities (hunting and gambling, for example) that are usually classified together today under the heading of leisure. Consider fencing: today it may be considered a “sport,” but for the gentleman of the Renaissance it was an art or science. Conversely, activities that today may be considered serious, notably warfare, were often described as pastimes.

Serious pitfalls, therefore, confront historians of leisure who assume continuity and who work with the modern concepts of leisure and sport, projecting them back onto the past without asking about the meanings contemporaries gave to their activities. However, the discontinuity hypothesis can pose problems of its own. Historians holding this view attempt to avoid anachronism by means of a simple dichotomy, cutting European history into two eras, preindustrial and industrial, setting up the binary opposition between a “festival culture” and a “leisure culture.” The dichotomy remains of use insofar as it reminds us that the rise of industrial capitalism was not purely a phenomenon of economic history, but had social and cultural preconditions and consequences. The dichotomy, however, leads to distortions when it reduces a great variety of medieval and early modern European ideas, assumptions, and practices to the simple formula implied by the phrase “festival culture.”

Spoiler: :: OA
E

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A) refute the idea that the history of leisure is discontinuous
B) show why one of two approaches is more useful in studying the history of leisure
C) suggest the need for a new, more inclusive concept to replace the concept of leisure
D) trace the development of a theory about the history of leisure
E) point out the basis for, and the limits of, an approach to the history of leisure


Spoiler: :: OA
C

2. The author of the passage asserts that the “dichotomy” (Highlighted) can lead to which of the following?

A) Reliance on only one of several equally valid theoretical approaches
B) The imposition of modern conceptions and meanings on past societies
C) Failure to take into account the complexity of certain features of European culture
D) Failure to utilize new conceptual categories in the study of the history of leisure
E) Failure to take account of the distinction between preindustrial and industrial societies


Spoiler: :: OA
A

3. According to the passage, the “simple dichotomy” (Highlighted) is useful primarily because it serves as

A) a way of calling historians’ attention to certain facts about the Industrial Revolution
B) an antidote to the oversimplification encouraged by such terms as “festival culture”
C) a device for distinguishing between the work and the leisure activities of preindustrial Europeans
D) a way of understanding the privileged class of medieval Europe by viewing its activities in modern terms
E) a tool for separating social history, including the history of leisure, from economic history


Spoiler: :: OA
B

4. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage as a whole?

A) Two hypotheses are discussed, and evidence in support of one is presented.
B) A hypothesis is presented and discussed, and a limitation to the hypothesis is identified.
C) A hypothesis is proposed, its supposed advantages are shown to be real, and its supposed disadvantages are shown to be illusory.
D) A problem is identified, two hypotheses are advanced to resolve it, and both are rejected.
E) A problem is identified, two resolutions are proposed, and a solution combining elements of both is recommended.


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Re: Most recent work on the history of leisure in Europe has been based on  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2019, 02:26
Dear SajjadAhmad
thank you for this wonderful and helpful trail, although I would much appreciate if you can provide the explanation for this Passage.

thanks
harsh
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Most recent work on the history of leisure in Europe has been based on  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2019, 02:56
Harshdeepgajra wrote:
Dear SajjadAhmad
thank you for this wonderful and helpful trail, although I would much appreciate if you can provide the explanation for this Passage.

thanks
harsh


Official Explanation


Summary

The passage deals with the historical study of leisure in Europe and discusses the view that the concept of leisure underwent a fundamental change at the time of the Industrial Revolution (the “discontinuity” hypothesis). The second paragraph explains how the hypothesis can accommodate certain historical data, and the third paragraph discusses the usefulness of the hypothesis while at the same time outlining some potential drawbacks.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

Explanation

The first paragraph of the passage tells us that the difference between pre-industrial and industrial society in Europe was so great that “the modern distinction between the categories of work and leisure” (lines 5-6) cannot be meaningfully applied to the former, implying that there exists a discontinuity between the two periods. The second paragraph argues that the discontinuity approach can accommodate historical data. Finally, the third paragraph admits that, while useful in some respects, this approach “can pose problems of its own” (line 34) and briefly describes these problems. All this points to Choice E as correct.


2. The author of the passage asserts that the “dichotomy” (Highlighted) can lead to which of the following?

Explanation

The word “dichotomy” appears only in the last paragraph of the passage. One of the key claims there is that the dichotomy “reduces a great variety . .. to the simple formula” (lines 42-44). Therefore Choice C is correct.


3. According to the passage, the “simple dichotomy” (Highlighted) is useful primarily because it serves as

Explanation

“Simple dichotomy” is mentioned in line 36. The passage states that this dichotomy “remains of use insofar as it reminds us that the rise of industrial capitalism” (lines 39-40) was not just an economic phenomenon, but also a social and a cultural phenomenon. This points to Choice A as correct.


4. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage as a whole?

Explanation

The main purpose of the passage is to discuss the idea of “the central hypothesis of a fundamental discontinuity between preindustrial and industrial societies” (lines 1-4) in terms of the development of the concept of leisure. Most of the passage is focused on demonstrating the usefulness of this hypothesis; however, the second part of the third paragraph mentions some “distortions” (line 42) that may result if the hypothesis is accepted. There- fore Choice B is correct.

Choices A, D, and E are incorrect, as only one hypothesis/solution is discussed in the passage. Choice C is incorrect, as the passage does not mention that the “distortions” (line 42) caused by accepting the hypothesis are illusory.


Hope it helps
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Most recent work on the history of leisure in Europe has been based on   [#permalink] 25 Nov 2019, 02:56
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