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Admissions Success Stories GMATPrep : Anthropologists studying the Hopi people

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NandishSS Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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GMATPrep : Anthropologists studying the Hopi people

Post Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:22 pm
Anthropologists studying the Hopi people of the southwestern United States often characterize Hopi society between 1680 and 1880 as surprisingly stable, considering that it was a period of diminution in population and pressure from contact with outside groups, factors that might be expected to cause significant changes in Hopi social arrangements.

The Hopis’ retention of their distinctive socio-cultural system (15) has been attributed to the Hopi religious elite’s determined efforts to preserve their religion and way of life, and also to a geographical isolation greater (20) than that of many other Native American groups, an isolation that limited both cultural contact and exposure to European diseases. But equally important to Hopi cultural persistence may have been an inherent flexibility in their social system that may have allowed preservation of traditions even as the Hopis accommodated themselves to change. For example, the system of matrilineal clans was maintained throughout this period, even though some clans merged to form larger groups while others divided into smaller descent groups. Furthermore, although traditionally members of particular Hopi clans appear to have exclusively controlled particular ceremonies, a clan’s control of a ceremony might shift to another clan if the first became too small to manage the responsibility. Village leadership positions traditionally restricted to members of one clan might be similarly extended to members of other clans, and women might assume such positions under certain unusual conditions.

1) The author of the passage would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements about the explanation outlined in the highlighted text?
A. It fails to take into account the effect of geographical circumstances on Hopi culture.
B. It correctly emphasizes the role of the religious elite in maintaining the system of matrilineal clans.
C. It represents a misreading of Hopi culture because it fails to take into account the actual differences that existed among the various Hopi clans.
D. It underestimates the effect on Hopi cultural development of contact with other cultural groups.
E. It is correct but may be insufficient in itself to explain Hopi socio-cultural persistence.

OA: E

2) Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about the Hopis’ geographic situation between 1680 and 1880?
A. It prevented the Hopis from experiencing a diminution in population.
B. It helped to promote flexibility within their social system.
C. It limited but did not eliminate contact with other cultural groups.
D. It reinforced the religious elite’s determination to resist cultural change.
E. It tended to limit contact between certain Hopi clans.

OA: C

3) The passage is primarily concerned with
A. reassessing a phenomenon in light of new findings
B. assessing the relative importance of two factors underlying a phenomenon
C. examining the assumptions underlying an interpretation of a phenomenon
D. expanding on an explanation of a phenomenon
E. contrasting two methods for evaluating a phenomenon

OA: D

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DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Post Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:37 am
The highlighted portion gives us two reasons to account for the stability of Hopi culture: determination of the religious elite and geographical isolation. The next sentence gives us another reason - the flexibility of its culture. It stands to reason, then, that the portion in red, while true, doesn't fully account for the phenomenon of Hopi stability in the period discussed.

Captured in E

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DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Post Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:39 am
Quote:
2) Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about the Hopis’ geographic situation between 1680 and 1880?
A. It prevented the Hopis from experiencing a diminution in population.
B. It helped to promote flexibility within their social system.
C. It limited but did not eliminate contact with other cultural groups.
D. It reinforced the religious elite’s determination to resist cultural change.
E. It tended to limit contact between certain Hopi clans.
In paragraph 1, we're told that this time period was one of pressure from contact with outside groups. In paragraph 2, we're told that the Hopi enjoyed greater geographical isolation than other groups, limiting contact with outside cultures. Put those ideas together, and you've got C

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DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Post Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:42 am
Quote:
3) The passage is primarily concerned with
A. reassessing a phenomenon in light of new findings
B. assessing the relative importance of two factors underlying a phenomenon
C. examining the assumptions underlying an interpretation of a phenomenon
D. expanding on an explanation of a phenomenon
E. contrasting two methods for evaluating a phenomenon
We can basically go back to the idea expressed in question 1 here. It was accepted that the determination of the religious elites and geographical isolation helped preserve the stability of Hopi culture. The passage then expands on this explanation by presenting the Hopi's inherent flexibility as another contributing factor. The answer is D

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NandishSS Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:26 pm
Thanks, A lot Dave Smile Everytime I read your explanation I feel, I need to practice more.

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