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modes of argumentation have been used on behalf of women’s emancipation
in Western societies. Arguments in what could be called the
“relational” feminist tradition maintain the doctrine of “equality in
difference,” or equity as distinct from equality. They posit that
biological distinctions between the sexes result in a necessary sexual
division of labor in the family and throughout society and that women’s
procreative labor is currently undervalued by society, to the
disadvantage of women. By contrast, the individualist feminist tradition
emphasizes individual human rights and celebrates women’s quest for
personal autonomy, while downplaying the importance of gender roles and
minimizing discussion of childbearing and its attendant
Before the late nineteenth century, these views coexisted within the feminist movement, often within the writings of the same individual. Between 1890 and 1920, however, relational feminism, which had been the dominant strain in feminist thought, and which still predominates among European and non-Western feminists, lost ground in England and the United States. Because the concept of individual rights was already well established in the Anglo-Saxon legal and political tradition, individualist feminism came to predominate in English-speaking countries. At the same time, the goals of the two approaches began to seem increasingly irreconcilable. Individualist feminists began to advocate a totally gender-blind system with equal rights for all. Relational feminists, while agreeing that equal educational and economic opportunities outside the home should be available for all women, continued to emphasize women’s special contributions to society as homemakers and mothers; they demanded special treatment for women, including protective legislation for women workers, state-sponsored maternity benefits, and paid compensation for housework.
Relational arguments have a major pitfall: because they underline women’s physiological and psychological distinctiveness, they are often appropriated by political adversaries and used to endorse male privilege. But the individualist approach, by attacking gender roles, denying the significance of physiological difference, and demning existing familial institutions as hopelessly patriarchal, has often simply treated as irrelevant the family roles important to many women. If the individualist framework, with its claim for women’s autonomy, could be harmonized with the family-oriented concerns of relational feminists, a more fruitful model for contemporary feminist politics could emerge.
According to the passage, relational feminists and individualist feminists agree that
The passage supports which of the following statements about hiring policies in the United States?
Historians of women’s labor in the United States at first largely
disregarded the story of female service workers—women earning wages in
occupations such as salesclerk, domestic servant, and office secretary.
These historians focused instead on factory work, primarily because it
seemed so different from traditional, unpaid “women’s work” in the home,
and because the underlying economic forces of industrialism were
presumed to be gender-blind and hence emancipatory in effect.
Unfortunately, emancipation has been less profound than expected, for
not even industrial wage labor has escaped continued sex segregation in
To explain this unfinished revolution in the status of women, historians have recently begun to emphasize the way a prevailing definition of femininity often determines the kinds of work allocated to women, even when such allocation is inappropriate to new conditions. For instance, early textile-mill entrepreneurs, in justifying women’s employment in wage labor, made much of the assumption that women were by nature skillful at detailed tasks and patient in carrying out repetitive chores; the mill owners thus imported into the new industrial order hoary stereotypes associated with the homemaking activities they presumed to have been the purview of women. Because women accepted the more unattractive new industrial tasks more readily than did men, such jobs came to be regarded as female jobs. And employers, who assumed that women’s “real” aspirations were for marriage and family life, declined to pay women wages commensurate with those of men. Thus many lower-skilled, lower-paid, less secure jobs came to be perceived as “female.”
More remarkable than the original has been the persistence of such sex segregation in twentieth century industry. Once an occupation came to be perceived as female,” employers showed surprisingly little interest in changing that perception, even when higher profits beckoned. And despite the urgent need of the United States during the Second World War to mobilize its human resources fully, job segregation by sex characterized even the most important war industries. Moreover, once the war ended, employers quickly returned to men most of the “male” jobs that women had been permitted to master.
Which of the following words best expresses the opinion of the author of the passage concerning the notion that women are more skillful than men in carrying out detailed tasks?
According to the passage, during the 1970s and 1980s bidding firms
differed from the firms for which they bid in that bidding firms
Findings from several studies on corporate mergers and acquisitions
during the 1970s and 1980s raise questions about why firms initiate and
consummate such transactions. One study showed, for example, that
acquiring firms were on average unable to maintain acquired firms’
pre-merger levels of profitability. A second study concluded that
postacquisition gains to most acquiring firms were not adequate to cover
the premiums paid to obtain acquired firms. A third demonstrated that,
following the announcement of a prospective merger, the stock of the
prospective acquiring fi rm tends to increase in value much less than
does that of the firm for which it bids. Yet mergers and acquisitions
remain common, and bidders continue to assert that their objectives are
Acquisitions may well have the desirable effect of channeling a nation’s resources efficiently from less to more efficient sectors of its economy, but the individual acquisitions executives arranging these deals must see them as advancing either their own or their companies’ private economic interests. It seems that factors having little to do with corporate economic interests explain acquisitions. These factors may include the incentive compensation of executives, lack of monitoring by boards of directors, and managerial error in estimating the value of firms targeted for acquisition. Alternatively, the acquisition acts of bidders may derive from
modeling: a manager does what other managers do.
The author of the passage mentions the effect of acquisitions on national economies most probably in order to
In an attempt to improve the overall performance of clerical workers,
many companies have introduced computerized performance monitoring and
control systems (CPMCS) that record and report a worker's
computer-driven activities. However, at least one study has shown that
such monitoring may not be having the desired effect. In the study,
researchers asked monitored clerical workers and their supervisors how
assessments of productivity affected supervisors' ratings of workers'
performance. In contrast to unmonitored workers doing the same work, who
without exception identified the most important element in their jobs as
customer service, the monitored workers and their supervisors all
responded that productivity was the critical factor in assigning
ratings. This finding suggested that there should have been a strong
correlation between a monitored worker's productivity and the overall
rating the worker received. However, measures of the relationship
between overall rating and individual elements of performance clearly
supported the conclusion that supervisors gave considerable weight to
such as attendance, accuracy, and indications of customer satisfaction.
It is possible that productivity may be a "hygiene factor"; that is, if it is too low, it will hurt the overall rating. But the evidence suggests that beyond the point at which productivity becomes "good enough," higher productivity per se is unlikely to improve a rating.
It can be inferred that the author of the passage discusses "unmonitored workers"(line 11) primarily in order to
According to the passage, which of the following is true of the strategy that Du Bois's 1918 editorial urged African Americans to adopt during the First World War ?
The passage suggests which of the following about the contributions of African Americans to the United States war effort during the First World War ?
In a 1918 editorial, W.E.B. Du Bois advised African
Americans to stop agitating for equality and to
proclaim their solidarity with White Americans for
the duration of the First World War. The editorial
surprised many African Americans who viewed
Du Bois as an uncompromising African American
leader and a chief opponent of the accommodationist
tactics urged by Booker T.Washington. In fact,
however, Du Bois often shifted positions along the
continuum between Washington and
confrontationists such as William Trotter. In 1895,
when Washington called on African Americans to
concentrate on improving their communities instead
of opposing discrimination and agitating for political
rights, Du Bois praised Washington’s speech. In
1903, however, Du Bois aligned himself with Trotter,
Washington’s militant opponent, less for ideological
reasons than because Trotter had described to him
Washington’s efforts to silence those in the African
American press who opposed Washington’s
Du Bois's wartime position thus reflected not a
change in his long-term goals but rather a
pragmatic response in the face of social pressure:
government officials had threatened African
American journalists with censorship if they
continued to voice grievances. Furthermore,
Du Bois believed that African Americans’
contributions to past war efforts had brought them
some legal and political advances. Du Bois’s
accommodationism did not last, however. Upon
learning of systematic discrimination experienced
by African Americans in the military, he called on
them to “return fighting” from the war.
The passage indicates which of the following about Du Bois's attitude toward Washington ?
Which of the following hypothetical situations best exemplifi es the potential problem noted in the second sentence of the second paragraph (lines 15–19)?
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