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Inference question from GMATPrep

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Inference question from GMATPrep

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Please choose and explain your picks for this GMATprep RC question

Traditional social science models of class groups in the United States are based on economic status and assume that women’s economic status derives from association with men, typically fathers or husbands, and that women therefore have more compelling common interest with men of their own economic class than with women outside it. Some feminist social scientists, by contrast, have argued that the basic division in American society is instead based on gender, and that the total female population, regardless of economic status, constitutes a distinct class. Social historian Mary Ryan, for example, has argued that in early-nineteenth-century America the identical legal status of working-class and middle-class free women outweighed the differences between women of these two classes: married women, regardless of their family’s wealth, did essentially the same unpaid domestic work, and none could own property or vote. Recently, though, other feminist analysts have questioned this model, examining ways in which the condition of working-class women differs from that of middle-class women as well as from that of working-class men. Ann Oakley notes, for example, that the gap between women of different economic classes widened in the late nineteenth century: most working-class women, who performed wage labor outside the home, were excluded from the emerging middle-class ideal of femininity centered around domesticity and volunteerism.

It can be inferred from the passage that the most recent feminist social science research on women and class seeks to do which of the following?

a) Introduce a divergent new theory about the relationship between legal status and gender

b) Illustrate an implicit middle-class bias in earlier feminist models of class and gender

c) Provide evidence for the position that gender matters more than wealth in determining class status

d) Remedy perceived inadequacies of both traditional social science models and earlier feminist analyses of class and gender

e) Challenge the economic definitions of class used by traditional social scientists

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It can be inferred from the passage that the most recent feminist social science research on women and class seeks to do which of the following?

a) Introduce a divergent new theory about the relationship between legal status and gender NO THEORY ABOUT LEGAL STATUS DISCUSSED

b) Illustrate an implicit middle-class bias in earlier feminist models of class and gender NO BIAS DISCUSSED

c) Provide evidence for the position that gender matters more than wealth in determining class status NOPE

d) Remedy perceived inadequacies of both traditional social science models and earlier feminist analyses of class and gender CORRECT AS "ways in which the condition of working-class women differs from that of middle-class women ([color=green]MARY RION THEORY) as well as from that of working-class men (EARLIER THEORY)"[/color]

e) Challenge the economic definitions of class used by traditional social scientists NOPE

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WHAT IS OA

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Received a PM asking me to respond.

Summary (typed as I read this for the first time).

P1
Traditional: class = econ status, W get status from M, so W have more in common with same-class M than with different-class W.
Others: NOT econ status. gender. All W = same legal status, therefore all W = one big class
MR: diff class W (working, middle) = more similar than different
Still others: maybe they're ALL different? Working W not like middle W. Working W not like W men.
AO: diff between working W and middle W
[Okay, so there are at least 3 different theories here about class groups and how W fit in]

Question:
inference. So, something that must be true according to info given in the passage.
"most recent" research. Which is that? "most recent" won't be the traditional view (the 1st one). The third theory starts with the word "recently" so that's probably the most recent one.

What does this "most recent" theory try to do? Well, it's questioning something that was described before. Is it questioning both prior theories or just one? Both. The first theory said that same-class W and same-class M are similar. The second theory said that all W are similar. This one says all women are different and, further, same-class W and same-class M are also different. The example given in the last sentence is only about women being different though - it doesn't mention the men.

What's the third theory trying to do then? Not the example - that's just an example. The main purpose of the third theory is what's contained in that second-to-last sentence (and summarized in the previous paragraph).

A) introduce a new theory? sure. about legal status and gender? No - that was the 2nd theory, not the third one. Eliminate.
B) bias? no, there wasn't a bias in the earlier feminist model. Elim.
C) gender matters more than wealth = 2nd theory is better than 1st. That's not what this says. Elim.
D) both earlier theories have problems and there's a better way to look at things? That sounds pretty good. Check E just to make sure.
E) maybe partially. but they're also challenging the 2nd theory. Elim.

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Wonderful explanation Stacey ! Thanks for your detailed post. It has refined my approach towards inference questions.
I was wondering how you could take such detailed notes the first time you read the passage. I always find that I lose track of time when I take such detailed notes.
My notes were more like this:

Class Groups(CG) - Eco stats
W -> M
Controversial topic
Others: Argue CG based on Gender; not eco stats
MR: All W same
Recent SS: question MR.
AO: Working and middle class W diff

I finished reading the passage in 2 mins(including the notes).
However, the inference question stumped me. Though I got it correct, it took me 2.5mins to answer the question and I was not sure of the answer either as I used POE approach and was left with option D.

The only thing that I am still worried about is how do I think so fast under pressure i.e., comprehension. My reading speed is decent. But I understand RC is also about comprehending the details. Though my notes come to my rescue most of the times, I find it hard to answer inference questions. Any suggestions to improve speed and performance on inference questions??

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