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GMATPrep : The idea that equipping homes with electrical

This topic has 3 expert replies and 1 member reply

GMATPrep : The idea that equipping homes with electrical

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The idea that equipping homes with electrical appliances and other “modern” household technologies would eliminate drudgery, save labor time, and increase leisure for women who were full-time home workers remained largely unchallenged until the women’s movement of the 1970’s spawned the groundbreaking and influential works of sociologist Joann Vanek and historian Ruth Cowan. Vanek analyzed 40 years of time-use surveys conducted by home economists to argue that electrical appliances and other modern household technologies reduced the effort required to perform specific tasks, but ownership of these appliances did not correlate with less time spent on housework by full-time home workers. In fact, time spent by these workers remained remarkably constant-at about 52 to 54 hours per week-from the 1920’s to the 1960’s, a period of significant change in household technology. In surveying two centuries of household technology in the United States, Cowan argued that the “industrialization” of the home often resulted in more work for full-time home workers because the use of such devices as coal stoves, water pumps, and vacuum cleaners tended to reduce the workload of married-women’s helpers (husbands, sons, daughters, and servants) while promoting a more rigorous standard of housework. The full-time home worker’s duties also shifted to include more household management, child care, and the post-Second World War phenomenon of being “Mom’s taxi.”

1) According to the passage, which of the following is true about the idea mentioned in the highlighted text?

A. It has been undermined by data found in time-use surveys conducted by home economists.
B. It was based on a definition of housework that was explicitly rejected by Vanek and Cowan.
C. It is more valid for the time period studied by Cowan than for the time period studied by Vanek.
D. It is based on an underestimation of the time that married women spent on housework prior to the industrialization of the household.
E. It inaccurately suggested that new household technologies would reduce the effort required to perform housework.

OA: A

2) The passage is primarily concerned with

A. analyzing a debate between two scholars
B. challenging the evidence on which a new theory is based
C. describing how certain scholars’ work countered a prevailing view
D. presenting the research used to support a traditional theory
E. evaluating the methodology used to study a particular issue

OA: C

3) The passage suggests that Vanek and Cowan would agree that modernizing household technology did not
A. reduce the workload of servants and other household helpers
B. raise the standard of housework that women who were full-time home workers set for themselves
C. decrease the effort required to perform household tasks
D. reduce the time spent on housework by women who were full-time home workers
E. result in a savings of money used for household maintenance

OA: D

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Quote:
1) According to the passage, which of the following is true about the idea mentioned in the highlighted text?

A. It has been undermined by data found in time-use surveys conducted by home economists.
B. It was based on a definition of housework that was explicitly rejected by Vanek and Cowan.
C. It is more valid for the time period studied by Cowan than for the time period studied by Vanek.
D. It is based on an underestimation of the time that married women spent on housework prior to the industrialization of the household.
E. It inaccurately suggested that new household technologies would reduce the effort required to perform housework.

OA: A
I'm going to assume that the highlighted text refers to the first sentence of the passage - the idea that improved technologies/appliances would save time and increase leisure for women who were "full-time home workers." (Digressive Question: shouldn't the hypothesis have been the same for men who were "full-time home workers?" Why not just "people" who were full-time home workers?)

When Vanek analyzed time-use surveys, she found that "ownership of these appliances did not correlate with less time spent on housework..."Captured in A

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2) The passage is primarily concerned with

A. analyzing a debate between two scholars
B. challenging the evidence on which a new theory is based
C. describing how certain scholars’ work countered a prevailing view
D. presenting the research used to support a traditional theory
E. evaluating the methodology used to study a particular issue
Old view: improved technology saved time for full-time home workers. The researchers discovered evidence proving that this was not the case. The answer is C

(Note that the phrase: "remained unchallenged until..." suggests that a prevailing view will be countered.)

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3) The passage suggests that Vanek and Cowan would agree that modernizing household technology did not
A. reduce the workload of servants and other household helpers
B. raise the standard of housework that women who were full-time home workers set for themselves
C. decrease the effort required to perform household tasks
D. reduce the time spent on housework by women who were full-time home workers
E. result in a savings of money used for household maintenance
The key sentence: In fact, time spent by these workers remained remarkably constant-at about 52 to 54 hours per week-from the 1920’s to the 1960’s, a period of significant change in household technology.

The answer is D

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[quote="DavidG@VeritasPrep"]
Quote:
2) The passage is primarily concerned with

C. describing how certain scholars’ work countered a prevailing view
D. presenting the research used to support a traditional theory


Old view: improved technology saved time for full-time home workers. The researchers discovered evidence proving that this was not the case. The answer is C

(Note that the phrase: "remained unchallenged until..." suggests that a prevailing view will be countered.)
C:describing how certain scholars’ work countered a prevailing view

I was held back on this question because the text in italics seems to suggest a single scholar's work instead of 2 scholars'.
If it's plural, referring to the work of both Joann and Ruth, should the phrase be certain scholars’ works

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