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A rising interest in Native American customs

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ironsferri Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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A rising interest in Native American customs

Post Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:47 pm
At the end of the nineteenth century, a rising interest
in Native American customs and an increasing desire to
understand Native American culture prompted ethnologists
to begin recording the life stories of Native American.
Ethnologists had a distinct reason for wanting to
hear the stories: they were after linguistic or anthropological
data that would supplement their own field
observations, and they believed that the personal
stories, even of a single individual, could increase
their understanding of the cultures that they had been
observing from without. In addition many ethnologists
at the turn of the century believed that Native American
manners and customs were rapidly disappearing,
and that it was important to preserve for posterity as
much information as could be adequately recorded
before the cultures disappeared forever.
There were, however, arguments against this method
as a way of acquiring accurate and complete information.
Franz Boas, for example, described autobiographies as being
“of limited value, and useful chiefly for
the study of the perversion of truth by memory,” while
Paul Radin contended that investigators rarely spent
enough time with the tribes they were observing, and
inevitably derived results too tinged by the investi-
gator’s own emotional tone to be reliable.
Even more importantly, as these life stories moved
from the traditional oral mode to recorded written
form, much was inevitably lost. Editors often decided
what elements were significant to the field research on a
given tribe. Native Americans recognized that the
essence of their lives could not be communicated in
English and that events that they thought significant
were often deemed unimportant by their interviewers.
Indeed, the very act of telling their stories could force
Native American narrators to distort their cultures, as
taboos had to be broken to speak the names of dead
relatives crucial to their family stories.
Despite all of this, autobiography remains a useful
tool for ethnological research: such personal reminiscences
and impressions, incomplete as they may be, are
likely to throw more light on the working of the mind
and emotions than any amount of speculation from an
ethnologist or ethnological theorist from another
culture.

61. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?
(A) The historical backgrounds of two currently used research methods are chronicled.
(B) The validity of the data collected by using two different research methods is compared.
(C) The usefulness of a research method is questioned and then a new method is proposed.
(D) The use of a research method is described and the limitations of the results obtained are discussed.
(E) A research method is evaluated and the changes necessary for its adaptation to other subject areas are
discussed.
62. Which of the following is most similar to the actions of nineteenth-century ethnologists in their editing of the life stories of
Native Americans?
(A) A witness in a jury trial invokes the Fifth Amendment in order to avoid relating personally incriminating evidence.
(B) A stockbroker refuses to divulge the source of her information on the possible future increase in a stock’s value.
(C) A sports announcer describes the action in a team sport with which he is unfamiliar.
(D) A chef purposely excludes the special ingredient from the recipe of his prizewinning dessert.
(E) A politician fails to mention in a campaign speech the similarities in the positions held by her opponent for political
office and by herself.
63. According to the passage, collecting life stories can be a useful methodology because
(A) life stories provide deeper insights into a culture than the hypothesizing of academics who are not members of
233
that culture
(B) life stories can be collected easily and they are not subject to invalid interpretations
(C) ethnologists have a limited number of research methods from which to choose
(D) life stories make it easy to distinguish between the important and unimportant features of a culture
(E) the collection of life stories does not require a culturally knowledgeable investigator
64. Information in the passage suggests that which of the following may be a possible way to eliminate bias in the editing of
life stories?
(A) Basing all inferences made about the culture on an ethnological theory
(B) Eliminating all of the emotion-laden information reported by the informant
(C) Translating the informant’s words into the researcher’s language
(D) Reducing the number of questions and carefully specifying the content of the questions that the investigator can
ask the informant
(E) Reporting all of the information that the informant provides regardless of the investigator’s personal opinion about
its intrinsic value
65. The primary purpose of the passage as a whole is to
(A) question an explanation
(B) correct a misconception
(C) critique a methodology
(D) discredit an idea
(E) clarify an ambiguity
66. It can be inferred from the passage that a characteristic of the ethnological research on Native Americans conducted
during the nineteenth century was the use of which of the following?
(A) Investigators familiar with the culture under study
(B) A language other than the informant’s for recording life stories
(C) Life stories as the ethnologist’s primary source of information
(D) Complete transcriptions of informants’ descriptions of tribal beliefs
(E) Stringent guidelines for the preservation of cultural data



Guys, what you think is the difficulty level on this one?

I'm trying to adopt 1 method to tackle RCs; some say read and note down just first and last sentence of the first and last PARA, and first sentence of other paragraphs. Others instead say to read carefully the whole passage.

I tried both and on easy RC, the first works, but in tough RCs is DISASTROUS method to use (doesn't work at all as you lack of understanding of the passage and questions will address that).

What is a good balance that can be used for both easy and harder RCs ?

@bout me; [Non-native, non-fast reader, takes lots of time to read/note the passage]

Thank you all!

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surfer123 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:47 pm
BellTheGMAT wrote:
vaivish wrote:
even i got 62th wrong. Can somebody explain? I feel it should be D. Any comments
I got 62 and 66 wrong.
Can anyone explain in detail why C is preferred over D in 62 and B is preferred over C in 66
In 62, I chose C because the statement "purposely excludes" is just too strong of a statement for what the editors were doing. It would have to be a statement closer to "chefs choose their favorite ingredients."

It is easiest for me to read the passage and try to understand 90% of it. I don't write down any notes because that breaks up my reading rhythm. I can then answer the questions without looking back too much.

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BellTheGMAT Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:47 pm
vaivish wrote:
even i got 62th wrong. Can somebody explain? I feel it should be D. Any comments
I got 62 and 66 wrong.
Can anyone explain in detail why C is preferred over D in 62 and B is preferred over C in 66

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Post Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:47 pm
BellTheGMAT wrote:
vaivish wrote:
even i got 62th wrong. Can somebody explain? I feel it should be D. Any comments
I got 62 and 66 wrong.
Can anyone explain in detail why C is preferred over D in 62 and B is preferred over C in 66
In 62, I chose C because the statement "purposely excludes" is just too strong of a statement for what the editors were doing. It would have to be a statement closer to "chefs choose their favorite ingredients."

It is easiest for me to read the passage and try to understand 90% of it. I don't write down any notes because that breaks up my reading rhythm. I can then answer the questions without looking back too much.

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BellTheGMAT Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:47 pm
vaivish wrote:
even i got 62th wrong. Can somebody explain? I feel it should be D. Any comments
I got 62 and 66 wrong.
Can anyone explain in detail why C is preferred over D in 62 and B is preferred over C in 66

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Post Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:01 am
Rezinka wrote:
Hi..
Raising an old post..
Can anyone please explain what exactly is it that the author is asking in Q66? I'm not sure I understand the question.

Also, I took around 11 min. to solve it. Although I got all (except 66) right, what level would this question be and what should be the avg. time required?

Thanks.
66. It can be inferred from the passage that a characteristic of the ethnological research on Native Americans conducted
during the nineteenth century was the use of which of the following?
(A) Investigators familiar with the culture under study
(B) A language other than the informant’s for recording life stories
(C) Life stories as the ethnologist’s primary source of information
(D) Complete transcriptions of informants’ descriptions of tribal beliefs
(E) Stringent guidelines for the preservation of cultural data


Answer is B
see these lines from passage
Native Americans recognized that the
essence of their lives could not be communicated in
English
and that events that they thought significant
were often deemed unimportant by their interviewers.


Even line infront of it and after it provides hints that two languages were there(or language of interviewer and interviewee is not same) but these lines put a stamp on it.

Hope it is clear now.

Thanks

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Rezinka Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:28 pm
Hi..
Raising an old post..
Can anyone please explain what exactly is it that the author is asking in Q66? I'm not sure I understand the question.

Also, I took around 11 min. to solve it. Although I got all (except 66) right, what level would this question be and what should be the avg. time required?

Thanks.

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Post Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:38 am
sanp_l wrote:
I got the 62nd one wrong. Sad
Ditto
i made mistake there as well

I think RC passage gets difficult when,
Passage is too long
Passage has not been written out of rhythm intensionally.Normally sentences and paragraphs does not flow.You feel like lost.
Have too much to infer(no straight info)
Jargon and tech details and tech details
Answers choices are too close(normally 2)
another
when you have no less time and you are not confident about you earlier answers(during prerparation exam...)even a simple passage starts looking very difficult and you start making mistakes.

This one ,i think doesnt qualifies for most of above...
but i think if this passage is given as question no 34-39 there is lots of chance of making mistakes.

So cannot comment of difficulty level


about 62
A sports announcer describes the action in a team sport with which he is unfamiliar
I dont think the people who were interviewing were totally unfamiliar about the things...
we can say that 'they were not totally familiar' but i think above option is too extreme for interviewers...they were somebody who knows many thing and have interest ...
it was not like a sweeper interviewing them.

thanks

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Post Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:04 pm
BellTheGMAT wrote:
vaivish wrote:
even i got 62th wrong. Can somebody explain? I feel it should be D. Any comments
I got 62 and 66 wrong.
Can anyone explain in detail why C is preferred over D in 62 and B is preferred over C in 66
66 was slightly tougher because there could be an argument that the Native Americans possibly spoke some English, but remember the statement from the 1st paragraph "Ethnologists had a distinct reason for wanting to hear the stories: they were after linguistic or anthropological data that would supplement their own field observations"

Clearly, it cannot be C so B is the best answer.

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vaivish Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:08 am
even i got 62th wrong. Can somebody explain? I feel it should be D. Any comments

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Post Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:02 pm
I am confused with answers of 62: (choice between A & C)

passg says: Even more importantly, as these life stories moved from the traditional oral mode to recorded written form, much was inevitably lost. Editors often decided what elements were significant to the field research on a given tribe

(the last sentence means, Editors decision on elements depends on usefulness to their research)

C says: A sports announcer describes the action in a team sport with which he is unfamiliar - this option says unfamiliarity as a reson rather than usefulness

A says: A witness in a jury trial invokes the Fifth Amendment in order to avoid relating personally incriminating evidence - this option is useful for his personal impression - right option

can someone help pls

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Post Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:45 am
@ironsferri: I agree with you. I struggled a lot to get this point. Follow what suits you the best is what is required to do. Smile

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Post Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:28 am
Hi Sandy,
you're right - on tough passages understanding is key. I think there's a general misunderstanding out there when test prep companies and people suggest you not to get bugged down by the details. I think skipping the whole details thing would be not wise; the bottom line you have to aquire the LOGIC, not the content. Tricky questions like Inference will work on the logic of how details interact with each other and in different paragraph with other element. If I don't get the logic of how a detail function , how am I supposed to make inferences on it's relations?

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Post Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:10 am
I got the 62nd one wrong. Sad

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Post Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:09 am
@ironsferri: I can understand your dilemma. I went through a similar one but i wont say that i am not a fast reader. During my college days, a few of us used to compete as top how many pages you can read from a novel in a stipulated time frame. Novels have helped me in a big way. May be you can try some of them, reading them at leisure...grdually your speed would increase and you wouldn't even know.
Secondly, try some articles especially the editorials, from the new york times or the economist. Their structures are good. TOI and Hindu doesnt help much and thats what i feel, when it comes to RC's. Somehow, the structure of GMAT RC is dry at times and the ones on society/culture may make you feel real bad. Try the articles for a few weeks. Just a suggestion.

Thirdly, i would lay down what suited me the best for RC. Continue creaming the paragraphs looking out for changes of tone and thought. Run with the general sketch and design of the article unless you know, you are at something which you feel is real hard. And when you feel that, read it in and out. Thats what i do. There are some scientific passages which, when i walk through, gives me a good idea and i head for the questions. And then i come across the ones which i feel are tough. I go back and read them again until am clear and safe. And mostly, on the tough ones, you would be getting the general questions wrong. that happens because your understanding aint clear.

Hope it helped...

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