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# RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists

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RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2015, 12:06
3
3
Question 1
00:00

Question Stats:

53% (02:30) correct 47% (02:46) wrong based on 83

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Question 2
00:00

Question Stats:

53% (00:59) correct 47% (01:01) wrong based on 81

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Question 3
00:00

Question Stats:

32% (00:46) correct 68% (00:54) wrong based on 77

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Question 4
00:00

Question Stats:

20% (01:11) correct 80% (00:55) wrong based on 74

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Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists visited Xerox’s Research Center to study how people were responding to technological changes and perhaps offer some insights into the company’s operations. One of the researchers’ suggestions was to put a green start button on the company’s copiers. Some people consider this simple advice the beginning of corporate anthropology: the application of analytical skills traditionally used to study relatively isolated, tribal societies to understand how corporate employees interact and how consumers consume.

Sid Parkson received his Ph.D. while studying a dwindling society that lived on an Oceanic island with no stores or indoor plumbing. He now works for a software design firm. “Working with various project teams, I am constantly reminded of my fieldwork,” says Parkson. “In even the most rigidly hierarchical society, some individuals will wish to change their status, and this can cause friction—not necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve seen it lead to inferior decision-making, missed deadlines, and soured morale. When the islanders had a problem that threatened a social good, the individuals involved would discuss the issue at a meeting of their leaders—the board of directors, if you will. The higher-ups would say little, but their presence went a long way toward keeping the tone of the debate civilized and focused on the greater good. Follow-up meetings would be held to see whether progress had been made. We’ve implemented a similar structure here, and it’s worked remarkably well, and in the same way.”

On the consumer side, corporate anthropology can help to determine whether a product will be used, and how. Rather than using traditional marketing tools such as focus groups and questionnaires, anthropologists closely observe people going about their lives, and determine how a given product might fit into their culture. As with studies that take place within the corporation, physical behavior, language, and social interactions are carefully analyzed and documented.

Some traditional anthropologists are not comfortable with their colleagues serving business interests. Parkson is aware of this and understands these concerns, but he believes that “my job, though it ultimately contributes to a company’s bottom line, also contributes to the quality of people’s lives. It also provides data on the behavioral patterns of a group of individuals who have something in common, data that are likely to be of interest to others in years to come. That, to me, is the function of anthropology.”
1. Which of the following is the author’s primary purpose for writing the passage?

(A) To present a description of corporate anthropology, and to briefly show how it is used and how it is viewed by others
(B) To define corporate anthropology and show its specific similarities to, and differences with, traditional anthropology
(C) To demonstrate that anthropology can no longer be viewed as relevant only to isolated tribes
(D) To offer a detailed analysis of the ways in which corporate anthropology fits within the general description of anthropology
(E) To make the case that corporate anthropology can be just as useful as traditional anthropology

2. Which of the following does Sid Parkson claim is common to corporate societies and the lives of the islanders he studied?

(A) People resent being part of a rigid hierarchical system.
(B) Morale can be adversely affected by poor decisions.
(C) Individual members of the societies were sensitive to how their actions affected the common good.
(D) People behave differently when they know that they are being observed by people of higher status.
(E) Follow-up meetings to discuss frictions between group members are effective as long as the higher-ups did not take part.

3. According to the passage, which of the following scenarios is LEAST likely to be administered by a corporate anthropologist?

(A) The recordings from a retail store’s security camera are analyzed to determine how long people browse before selecting an item.
(B) A list is compiled that shows the different ways that employees speak about a new product among themselves and to others.
(C) Teenagers are brought together and their opinions are solicited regarding the desirability of a new portable music player.
(D) A consultant is hired to observe the manner in which executives at a firm choose to recognize the comments made by employees at business meetings.
(E) A field trip is arranged so that the managers of a day care center can see how a group of Native Americans handle shared care of children.

4. Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as a reason for considering the legitimacy of corporate anthropology?

(A) There are not enough jobs available for anthropologists who wish to work in academia.
(B) It can be useful to businesses that wish to improve their profitability.
(C) It is a way for executives to better understand what motivates their employees.
(D) Tribal societies can benefit from insights that anthropologists gain from studying corporate cultures.
(E) It allows people a look at how businesses in the past were structured.

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Re: RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2015, 22:31
1
Great Passage . Not sure how E fits in for Q4.
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RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2015, 04:23
1. A
2. D
3. D
4. B

Qns 3 and 4 are really tough.

Reg Q4
"data that are likely to be of interest to others in years to come." indicates that the current data allows people in future to look at how businesses in the past(i.e., currently) were structured.
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Re: RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2017, 08:09
Please explain Q4, extremely hard for me. I'm confused between C and E. If possible, please explain all 4 questions. Thanks for your time
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RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 11 Jul 2017, 01:42
Got all correct
But still not sure how 4 has E as answer

Sent from my ONE E1003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
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Originally posted by arvind910619 on 23 Jun 2017, 20:28.
Last edited by arvind910619 on 11 Jul 2017, 01:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2017, 23:55
I still don't get how the answer is E for question number 4. Don't get any logic behind it.
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Re: RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2017, 23:56
arvind910619 wrote:
Got all correct
But still but sure how 4 has E as answer

Sent from my ONE E1003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

It would be great if you can share your reasoning too.
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RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2017, 01:50
1
anairamitch1804 wrote:
arvind910619 wrote:
Got all correct
But still but sure how 4 has E as answer

Sent from my ONE E1003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

It would be great if you can share your reasoning too.

Hi anairamitch1804,

Some traditional anthropologists are not comfortable with their colleagues serving business interests. Parkson is aware of this and understands these concerns, but he believes that “my job, though it ultimately contributes to a company’s bottom line, also contributes to the quality of people’s lives. It also provides data on the behavioral patterns of a group of individuals who have something in common, data that are likely to be of interest to others in years to come. That, to me, is the function of anthropology.”

I inferred from the highlighted part .
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Re: RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2017, 23:48
Hey souvik101990

Can you paste the OE for all questions? I need to know whether my reasoning for the questions was correct?
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Re: RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2017, 06:58
arvind910619 wrote:
anairamitch1804 wrote:
arvind910619 wrote:
Got all correct
But still but sure how 4 has E as answer

Sent from my ONE E1003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

It would be great if you can share your reasoning too.

Hi anairamitch1804,

Some traditional anthropologists are not comfortable with their colleagues serving business interests. Parkson is aware of this and understands these concerns, but he believes that “my job, though it ultimately contributes to a company’s bottom line, also contributes to the quality of people’s lives. It also provides data on the behavioral patterns of a group of individuals who have something in common, data that are likely to be of interest to others in years to come. That, to me, is the function of anthropology.”

I inferred from the highlighted part .

Hello,

Would you please explain Q3 as well?

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RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 10 Dec 2017, 21:53
anairamitch1804 wrote:
I still don't get how the answer is E for question number 4. Don't get any logic behind it.

I think [how business in the pass were structured] is the subgroup/belongs to [the behavioral patterns of a group of individuals]

However, it seems to me that this inference is too far a way.

For me B [wish to improve their profitability] and [contributes to a company's bottom line] seems to be more closely related than E.

Official explanation attached.
Attachments

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 11.53.39 AM.png [ 43.13 KiB | Viewed 787 times ]

Originally posted by chibilovespurple on 10 Dec 2017, 21:18.
Last edited by chibilovespurple on 10 Dec 2017, 21:53, edited 1 time in total.
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RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2017, 21:19
anairamitch1804 wrote:
Hello,

Would you please explain Q3 as well?

Question 3.

C. [Teenagers are brought together and their opinions are solicited...] = focus groups (and questionnaires) = traditional marketing tools = a corporate anthropologist LEAST likely to do.

Source is in Veritas RC book. Official explanation attached.
Attachments

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 11.54.27 AM.png [ 25.25 KiB | Viewed 783 times ]

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 11.54.34 AM.png [ 76.17 KiB | Viewed 783 times ]

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Re: RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists  [#permalink]

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18 Feb 2018, 08:59
It's a RC from Veritas Prep's book in the very last section. Made all wrong. Really tough ( the question sections) . Kindly give me some advice how to tackle that kind of RCs . Thanks in advance.
Re: RC Practice: Twenty years ago, two well-known anthropologists &nbs [#permalink] 18 Feb 2018, 08:59
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