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Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have t

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Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have t  [#permalink]

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Project RC Butler 2020 - Participate and win GMAT Club Tests.
Passage # 121, Date: 31-May-2020
This post is a part of Project RC Butler 2020. Click here for Details


Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have transformed the traditional forms of family and shaped what is now generally called the “new family.” The most essential feature of the new family is its deviation from the nuclear family concept centred on the heterosexual married couple of male breadwinner, female homemaker both as a demographic and as a cultural norm. The dominance of the nuclear family was underpinned by an interlocking matrix of assumptions that constituted an ideology of this family form as “natural” when it was, in actuality, a specific cultural and historical form that emerged in the West in the 19th century. Anthropologists and feminist historians have argued that nuclear family was a construct that was nationalistic and racially exclusionary as well as well as exclusionary of other sexualities. New families are refreshingly diverse in their configurations in terms of sexuality, race, ethnicity etc. The new family is also a changing or “flexible” family. Rather than a set of permanent relations, the new family often adjusts its configuration over time through cohabitation, marriage, divorce and remarriage.

An exemplary ideological representation of the new family is the film Under the Tuscan Sun. The film has as its core a recently divorced heterosexual American woman who purchases a villa while on vacation with a gay tour. The main character starts out alone and in a more traditional and familiar context, but by the end of the film, she is surrounded by her new family that includes a Polish immigrant worker, his new Italian wife, the main character's Asian-American lesbian friend and her new-born baby, and the new American lover of the main character. The film exemplifies “affective theories” about the new family. Affective theory sees the new family as a series of singular families that are the product of the desires of individuals. Family forms, on these terms, “elect” to engage in various practices and relations. They make choices which, while constrained to varying degrees, are ultimately individual choices that go beyond the boundaries of class and structure.


1. What is the primary purpose of the passage?

A. Compare and contrast nuclear and new families
B. Describe and explain a societal change
C. Illustrate the norm of new families by citing cultural examples
D. Trace the origin and form of a recent societal phenomenon
E. Highlight the salient features of a revolutionary societal transformation



2. The author suggests that the film Under the Tuscan Sun exemplifies affective theories about the new family most probably because the film

A. traces the emergence of a multicultural and polysexual family whose members are biologically unrelated
B. departs from conventional film themes of heterosexual married couples
C. portrays how a departure from traditional and familiar contexts can pose social challenges
D. depicts a series of singular families bound together by class and structure
E. challenges the idea of a nuclear family that is racially and sexually exclusionary



3. It can be inferred from the passage that the author of the passage is most likely to describe the emergence of new families as

A. A much anticipated societal change
B. An aberration from the accepted norm
C. A shift from a flexible and open social structure
D. A deviance from the natural state of affairs
E. A celebration of individual choice



4. When referring to nuclear families, the author of the passage mentions the word “natural” within quotes most probably to

A. Censure the preservation of nuclear families as the ideal unit of society
B. Indicate surprise at the displacement of nuclear families by new families
C. Concur with the definition of nuclear families as the ideal societal unit
D. Express scepticism about the perception that nuclear families are the universal norm
E. Disparage the nuclear family as a cultural and historical form specific only to the West


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Originally posted by globaldesi on 05 Jan 2020, 21:09.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 31 May 2020, 08:46, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have t  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2020, 05:46
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in 4th we are rejecting A because it's too extreme.....as it uses the word censure .Am i right?
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Re: Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have t  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2020, 18:34
1
Official answers:
1.OA: B
Tag: Big picture
The passage's focus is on new families. Option A is incorrect as the primary purpose is not to contrast new families and nuclear families. Option C is incorrect as only one cultural example (one film) is cited in the passage. Option D is incorrect because the passage does not 'trace the origin' of the formation of new families; also, this is not a 'recent' phenomenon as the passage begins with the words 'over the last several decades'. Option E is incorrect as it says that the transformation is 'revolutionary' – we DKCS this for sure. We just know it is a change – we don't know about its effect and impact.

2.OA: A
Tag: Inference
The key feature of “affective theories” is that individuals choose to form families, and are not bound by structure (lines 19 to 22). This is highlighted in option A. Option B does not bring out this connection effectively – we also DKCS if heterosexual couples are the common family themes in films. We DKCS anything about the social challenges faced by the protagonist of the movie – so C is incorrect. The film does not show families bound by structure –so D is wrong. Option E does not bring out the connection with affective theories effectively – we also DKCS if the movie challenges the concept of nuclear families. We just know it uses the theme of new families.

3.OA: E
Tag: According to
We don't know if the author will see new families as a much-anticipated change. DKCS – so A is incorrect. Both B and D have negative undertones – the author's attitude towards new families is not negative. So both of these are incorrect. New families are a shift towards a flexible and open structure – not away from. So C is also incorrect. Answer E is indicated in lines 19 to 22.

4.OA: D
Tag: Anchor Phrase
In lines 6 to 8, the author points out that nuclear families are not a universal form, but are specific to the West, since the 19th century. This indicates that she does not believe that the definition of nuclear families as the 'natural' form is true. Hence, option D is correct. Option A is incorrect as the author does not censure (criticize) nuclear families. B is wrong as she is not surprised by the emergence of new families. The author does not agree that nuclear families are the ideal societal unit – so C is incorrect. E is incorrect as it uses the extreme word 'disparage' – the author does not disparage this definition. Merely questions it.
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Re: Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have t  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2020, 01:35
It would be very helpful if difficulty level of questions are also posted along with official OEs
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Re: Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have t  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2020, 14:43
1
1. What is the primary purpose of the passage?

A. Compare and contrast nuclear and new families
=> The passage did present a contrast between nuclear and new families in the first paragraph but not as the main idea. There is no contrast in the second half of the passage.

B. Describe and explain a societal change
=> CORRECT. The passage first describes "New family" as a societal change, then compares it with "nuclear family" and then explains "New family" attributes and provides an example to provide a further extension.

C. Illustrate the norm of new families by citing cultural examples
=>There is a discussion of cultural differences but a lot of examples on that, A movie has been used as an example.

D. Trace the origin and form of a recent societal phenomenon
=> The passage doesn't talk about origin and form of it as a whole and this is not a recent phenomenon. The passage starts by saying "Over the last several decades some significant shifts in the family have transformed"

E. Highlight the salient features of a revolutionary societal transformation
=> Some part of the passage does highlight the features but not as a whole main idea.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. The author suggests that the film Under the Tuscan Sun exemplifies effective theories about the new family most probably because the film

A. traces the emergence of a multicultural and polysexual family whose members are biologically unrelated
=>CORRECT. The film shows people from different cultures - Polish, Asian, Italian, etc, and Gay, Lesbian, and singles.

B. departs from conventional film themes of heterosexual married couples
=> There is no mention of "conventional film themes".

C. portrays how a departure from traditional and familiar contexts can pose social challenges
=> No mention of any specific context or social challenges, instead the film provides more positive outcome towards the end of the film

D. depicts a series of singular families bound together by class and structure
=> Opposite of what paragraph says. The last line of the paragraph says "individual choices that go beyond the boundaries of class and structure."

E. challenges the idea of a nuclear family that is racially and sexually exclusionary
=> The film only brings out the possibility of a "new family" concept and doesn't explicitly present any contrast from the nuclear family.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. It can be inferred from the passage that the author of the passage is most likely to describe the emergence of new families as

A. A much anticipated societal change
=> No mention of any anticipation, the passage is only concerned about explaining the societal change

B. An aberration from the accepted norm
=> It indeed an aberration from what is a nuclear family concept but it is not needed to infer as it is mentioned in the passage and no mention of "accepted norm"

C. A shift from a flexible and open social structure
=> Incorrect. The new family is a more flexible and open social structure, not a shift.

D. A deviance from the natural state of affairs
=> Similar to B

E. A celebration of individual choice
=> "Affective theory sees the new family as a series of singular families that are the product of the desires of individuals" as mentioned in the last para, hence as desires of individuals are achieved, it is indeed a matter of celebration.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. When referring to nuclear families, the author of the passage mentions the word “natural” within quotes most probably to

A. Censure the preservation of nuclear families as the ideal unit of society
=> Too extreme. It is not an attack or challenge by the author, the tone of the author is just skeptic and not-agreeing with the ideology

B. Indicate surprise at the displacement of nuclear families by new families
=> Author's tone is not surprising, just skeptic

C. Concur with the definition of nuclear families as the ideal societal unit
=> Same as A

D. Express scepticism about the perception that nuclear families are the universal norm
=> CORRECT. Author's tone suggests that he doesn't agree with or believe the ideology, hence the skepticism.

E. Disparage the nuclear family as a cultural and historical form specific only to the West
=> The author doesn't belittle anything. No tone of disparage is seen
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Re: Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have t  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2020, 05:43
GDT wrote:
It would be very helpful if difficulty level of questions are also posted along with official OEs


OEs are already posted above, you can find those in the link below

https://gmatclub.com/forum/over-the-las ... l#p2444734

Here is the difficulty levels of the questions

1. 700
2. 650
3. 650
4. 650

Overal: 650 (Medium to Hard)
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Re: Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have t   [#permalink] 02 Jun 2020, 05:43

Over the last several decades some significant shifts in family have t

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