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Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t

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Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Sep 2019, 03:04
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 258, Date : 09-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over the past four decades; it has been analyzed by many distinguished minds and in various well-publicized works. In 1961, when Remi Clignet published his book "Many Wives, Many Powers," he was not alone in sharing the view that in Africa co-wives may be perceived as direct and indirect sources of increased income and prestige.

By the 1970s, such arguments had become crystallized and popular. Many other African scholars who wrote on the subject became the new champions of this philosophy. For example, in 1983, John Mbiti proclaimed that polygamy is an accepted and respectable institution serving many useful social purposes. Similarly, G.K. Nukunya, in his paper "Polygamy as a Symbol of Status," reiterated Mbiti's idea that a plurality of wives is a sign of affluence and power in the African society.

However, the colonial missionary voice provided consistent opposition to polygamy by viewing the practice as unethical and destructive of family life. While they propagated this view with the authority of the Bible, they were convinced that Africans had to be coerced into partaking in the vision of monogamy understood by the Western culture. The missionary viewpoint even included, in some instances, dictating immediate divorce in the case of newly converted men who had already contracted polygamous marriages. Unfortunately, both the missionary voice and the scholarly voice did not consider the views of African women on the matter important. Although there was some awareness that women regarded polygamy as both a curse and a blessing, the distanced, albeit scientific, perspective of an outside observer predominated both on the pulpit and in scholarly writings.

Contemporary research in the social sciences has begun to focus on the protagonist's voice in the study of culture, recognizing that the views and experiences of those who take part in a given reality ought to receive close examination. This privileging of the protagonist seems appropriate, particularly given that women in Africa have often used literary productions to comment on marriage, family and gender relations.


1. Which of the following best describes the main purpose of the passage above?

(A) to discuss scholarly works that view polygamy as a sign of prestige, respect, and affluence in the African society
(B) to trace the origins of the missionary opposition to African polygamy
(C) to argue for imposing restrictions on polygamy in the African society
(D) to explore the reasons for womens acceptance of polygamy
(E) to discuss multiple perspectives on African polygamy and contrast them with contemporary research



2. The third paragraph of the passage plays which of the following roles?

(A) discusses the rationale for viewing polygamy as an indication of prestige and affluence in the African society
(B) supports the author’s view that polygamy is unethical and destructive of family life
(C) contrasts the views of the colonial missionary with the position of the most recent contemporary research
(D) describes the views on polygamy held by the colonial missionary and indicates a flaw in this vision
(E) demonstrates that the colonial missionary was ignorant of the scholarly research on monogamy



3. The passage provides each of the following, EXCEPT

(A) the year of publication of Remi Clignet’s book “Many Wives, Many Powers”
(B) the year in which John Mbiti made a claim that polygamy is an accepted institution
(C) examples of African womens literary productions devoted to family relations
(D) reasons for missionary opposition to polygamy
(E) current research perspectives on polygamy



4. According to the passage, the colonial missionary and the early scholarly research shared which of the following traits in their views on polygamy?

(A) both considered polygamy a sign of social status and success
(B) neither accounted for the views of local women
(C) both attempted to limit the prevalence of polygamy
(D) both pointed out polygamy’s destructive effects on family life
(E) both exhibited a somewhat negative attitude towards polygamy



5. Which of the following statements can most properly be inferred from the passage?

(A) Nukunyas paper “Polygamy as a Symbol of Status” was not written in 1981.
(B) John Mbiti adjusted his initial view on polygamy, recognizing that the experiences of African women should receive closer attention.
(C) Remi Clignets book “Many Wives, Many Powers” was the first well-known scholarly work to proclaim that polygamy can be viewed as a symbol of prestige and wealth.
(D) Under the influence of the missionary opposition, polygamy was proclaimed illegal in Africa as a practice “unethical and destructive of family life.”
(E) A large proportion of the scholars writing on polygamy in the 1970s and 1980s were of African descent.


Originally posted by BrainLab on 08 Mar 2015, 12:03.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 07 Sep 2019, 03:04, edited 4 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (458).
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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jun 2017, 14:01
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How to infer last question. I got it wrong.
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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 09:48
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ammuseeru wrote:
How to infer last question. I got it wrong.


For last ques., let's compare the three most popular choices here::



(A) Nukunyas paper “Polygamy as a Symbol of Status” was not written in 1981.

CORRECT -- Follow the below mentioned lines in 2nd para.
For example, in 1983, John Mbiti proclaimed that polygamy is an accepted and respectable institution serving many useful social purposes. Similarly, G.K. Nukunya, in his paper "Polygamy as a Symbol of Status," reiterated Mbiti's idea .
This line clearly states the Nukunyas had written only after Mbiti did in 1983.



(D) Under the influence of the missionary opposition, polygamy was proclaimed illegal in Africa as a practice “unethical and destructive of family life.”

INCORRECT -- Follow the below mentioned line in 3rd para.
"..in some instances, dictating immediate divorce..".
By this line we can only infer that in only few instances opposing missionaries asked for divorces and etc. Never it has been mentioned that polygamy was declared illegal.



(E) A large proportion of the scholars writing on polygamy in the 1970s and 1980s were of African descent.

INCORRECT -- Follow the below mentioned line in 2nd para.
"..Many other African scholars who wrote on the subject became the new champions..".
By this line we can only infer that many African scholars had written on polygamy. But those number could either be 5% or 90% of all scholars who had ever written on African polygamy. We do NOT know. This is an extreme choice stating 'large proportion'.



Hope, I've been clear.
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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 23:57
can someone tell how is Option A an inference in question 5
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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2017, 06:53
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rupanshi12 wrote:
can someone tell how is Option A an inference in question 5


See the passage told that "M" published his views in 1983,so if he did so in 1983 and the paper reiterated the views of "M" then you can infer that the paper cannot be published before the writting of "M".
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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2019, 05:15
For the last question just one word in the passage makes choice A correct.

In the passage, the author says "Similarly, G.K. Nukunya, in his paper "Polygamy as a Symbol of Status," reiterated Mbiti's idea that a plurality of wives is a sign of affluence and power in the African society."

One reiterates something only after it is said or done once.
This just means that Nukunya published his paper after Mbiti did. So his paper was not published in 1981.
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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2019, 19:22
Can someone please explain Question 3rd?
I was confused between C and E. Selected C because I couldn't find 'current research perspectives on polygamy' anywhere in the passage. Did I miss it somewhere?
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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2019, 05:25
Hello AniJain

Official Explanation


3. The passage provides each of the following, EXCEPT

Difficulty Level: 550

Explanation

On Detail questions, look for signal words. Since this is an EXCEPT question, find the statements that were mentioned in the passage and eliminate them from consideration. Make sure to use proper nouns (such as Remi Clignet) and dates (such as 1983) as your signals. Since dates and capitalized nouns stand out in the text, they can speed up the process of verifying the answer choices. (Of course, be aware that a wrong answer choice might include words from the passage but fail to include the idea behind the words.)

(A) The second sentence of the opening paragraph states that Remi Clignet published his book Many Wives, Many Powers in 1961.

(B) According to the second sentence of the second paragraph, John Mbiti proclaimed that polygamy is an accepted and respectable institution in 1983.

(C) CORRECT. The concluding paragraph mentions that women in Africa have often used literary productions…to comment on marriage but provides no specific examples of such works.

(D) According to the third paragraph of the passage, the colonial missionary opposed polygamy because it considered this practice unethical and destructive of family life.

(E) The last paragraph indicates that contemporary research is focused on examining the voice of women.


Hope it helps
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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2019, 00:30
Can somebody give a further explanation for question number 5? This is tricky!

I understand that Answer A is correct since it assumes that Nukunyas paper “Polygamy as a Symbol of Status” was not written in 1981 because she was actually reiterating John Mbiti´s paper written in 1983. However, I chose answer E, since it is also true that all the scholars mentioned seem to be African descendants regarding its names. Why this couldn't be the right answer? Is it A just more specific?
Thanks a lot!!
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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2019, 05:04
Official Explanation


5. Which of the following statements can most properly be inferred from the passage?

Difficulty Level: 700-750

Explanation

Looking for an answer that can be inferred strictly based on the information given in the passage, without making any additional assumptions. Typically, the correct answer must be very closely connected to the actual text of the passage and directly supported by one or two sentences. Avoid answers that may be seen as plausible but would require information not provided in the passage.

(A) CORRECT. The second paragraph states that Nukunya's work “Polygamy as a Symbol of Status” reiterated Mbiti's idea that a plurality of wives is a legitimate sign of affluence and power. Since Nukunya's work reiterated the views of Mbiti, “Polygamy as a Symbol of Status” must have been written after Mbiti expressed his perspective on polygamy. According to the text, it was not until 1983 that John Mbiti proclaimed that polygamy is an accepted and respectable institution. Therefore, Nukunya's “Polygamy as a Symbol of Status” must have been written in 1983 or later; you can conclude that it was not written in 1981.

(B) While the text mentions that contemporary research acknowledges that the perspective of African women should receive closer attention, nothing in the passage suggests that Mbiti subsequently embraced this view and changed his initial stance.

(C) In the second sentence of the opening paragraph, the author states that when Remi Clignet published his book Many Wives, Many Powers, he was not alone in sharing the view…, suggesting that at the time of publication, other scholars viewed polygamy as a symbol of prestige and wealth. Therefore, Clignet's book may not have been the first to give this perspective.

(D) While the passage mentions that the colonial missionary opposed polygamy, viewing it as unethical and destructive, nothing in the passage suggests that polygamy was declared illegal in Africa.

(E) The passage does say that many African scholars in this era championed polygamy, but the passage does not indicate whether these scholars represented a large proportion of all of the scholars writing on polygamy.

Answer: (A)


Hope it helps

cartiro wrote:
Can somebody give a further explanation for question number 5? This is tricky!

I understand that Answer A is correct since it assumes that Nukunyas paper “Polygamy as a Symbol of Status” was not written in 1981 because she was actually reiterating John Mbiti´s paper written in 1983. However, I chose answer E, since it is also true that all the scholars mentioned seem to be African descendants regarding its names. Why this couldn't be the right answer? Is it A just more specific?
Thanks a lot!!

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Re: Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t   [#permalink] 12 Sep 2019, 05:04

Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over t

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