CAT 2022 Question Paper | VARC Slot 3

CAT Previous Year Paper | CAT VARC Questions | Question 14

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The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

Sociologists working in the Chicago School tradition have focused on how rapid or dramatic social change causes increases in crime. Just as Durkheim, Marx, Toennies, and other European sociologists thought that the rapid changes produced by industrialization and urbanization produced crime and disorder, so too did the Chicago School theorists. The location of the University of Chicago provided an excellent opportunity for Park, Burgess, and McKenzie to study the social ecology of the city. Shaw and McKay found . . . that areas of the city characterized by high levels of social disorganization had higher rates of crime and delinquency.

In the 1920s and 1930s Chicago, like many American cities, experienced considerable immigration. Rapid population growth is a disorganizing influence, but growth resulting from in-migration of very different people is particularly disruptive. Chicago's in-migrants were both native-born whites and blacks from rural areas and small towns, and foreign immigrants. The heavy industry of cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Pittsburgh drew those seeking opportunities and new lives. Farmers and villagers from America's hinterland, like their European cousins of whom Durkheim wrote, moved in large numbers into cities. At the start of the twentieth century, Americans were predominately a rural population, but by the century's mid-point most lived in urban areas. The social lives of these migrants, as well as those already living in the cities they moved to, were disrupted by the differences between urban and rural life. According to social disorganization theory, until the social ecology of the ''new place'' can adapt, this rapid change is a criminogenic influence. But most rural migrants, and even many of the foreign immigrants to the city, looked like and eventually spoke the same language as the natives of the cities into which they moved. These similarities allowed for more rapid social integration for these migrants than was the case for African Americans and most foreign immigrants.

In these same decades America experienced what has been called ''the great migration'': the massive movement of African Americans out of the rural South and into northern (and some southern) cities. The scale of this migration is one of the most dramatic in human history. These migrants, unlike their white counterparts, were not integrated into the cities they now called home. In fact, most American cities at the end of the twentieth century were characterized by high levels of racial residential segregation . . . Failure to integrate these migrants, coupled with other forces of social disorganization such as crowding, poverty, and illness, caused crime rates to climb in the cities, particularly in the segregated wards and neighborhoods where the migrants were forced to live.

Foreign immigrants during this period did not look as dramatically different from the rest of the population as blacks did, but the migrants from eastern and southern Europe who came to American cities did not speak English, and were frequently Catholic, while the native born were mostly Protestant. The combination of rapid population growth with the diversity of those moving into the cities created what the Chicago School sociologists called social disorganization.

Question 14 : The author notes that, "At the start of the twentieth century, Americans were predominately a rural population, but by the century's mid-point most lived in urban areas." Which one of the following statements, if true, does not contradict this statement?

  1. Demographic transition in America in the twentieth century is strongly marked by an out-migration from rural areas.
  2. A population census conducted in 1952 showed that more Americans lived in rural areas than in urban ones.
  3. The estimation of per capita income in America in the mid-twentieth century primarily required data from rural areas.
  4. Economists have found that throughout the twentieth century, the size of the labour force in America has always been largest in rural areas.

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Explanatory Answer

The question can be rephrased as "Which statement, if true, is in line with the given statement?"
Option A states that demographic transition in America in the twentieth century is strongly marked by an out-migration from rural areas. If true, this is in line with the statement that Americans were predominantly rural at the start of the 20th century, but most lived in urban areas by the 1950s.
Option B states that a population census conducted in 1952 showed that more Americans lived in rural areas than in urban ones. If true this contradicts the given statement.
If the estimation of per capita income in America in the mid-twentieth century primarily required data from rural areas, then most of the population should have been living in rural areas. Option C contradicts the given statement.
If economists have found that throughout the twentieth century, the size of the labour force in America has always been largest in rural areas, then that contradicts the given statement too.


The answer is 'Demographic transition in America in the twentieth century is strongly marked by an out-migration from rural areas.'

Choice A is the correct answer.

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