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According to the Passage, Constructivists Employed Which of the Following to Promote Their Argument? - English Language

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MCQ

Read the following passage carefully and then answer the question that follows.

Surajendu Kumar’s study on the effect of the modernization of a Government Printing Press on Press maintenance work and workers is a solid contribution to a debate that encompasses two lively issues in the history and sociology of technology: technological determinism and social constructivism.

Kumar makes the point that the characteristics of a technology have a decisive influence on job skills and work organization. Put more strongly, technology can be a primary determinant of social and managerial organization. Kumar believes this possibility has been obscured by the recent sociological fashion, exemplified by Cravman’s analysis, that emphasizes the way machinery reflects social choices. For Cravman, the shape of a technological system is subordinate to the manager’s desire to wrest control of the labor process from the workers. Technological change is construed as the outcome of negotiations among interested parties who seek to incorporate their own interests into the design and configuration of the machinery. This position represents the new mainstream called social constructivism. The constructivists gain acceptance by misrepresenting technological determinism: technological determinists are supposed to believe, for example, that machinery imposes appropriate forms of order on society. The alternative to constructivism, in other words, is to view technology as existing outside society, capable of directly influencing skills and work organization. Kumar refutes the extremes of the constructivists by both theoretical and empirical arguments. Theoretically, he defines “technology” in terms of relationship between social and technical variables. Attempts to reduce the meaning of technology to cold, hard metal are bound to fail, for machinery is just scrap unless it is organized functionally and supported by appropriate systems of operation and maintenance. At the empirical level, Kumar shows how a change at the Printing Press from maintenance-intensive electromechanical devices to semi-electronic devices altered work tasks, skills, training opportunities, administration, and organization of workers. Some changes Kumar attributes to the particular way management and labor unions negotiated the introduction of the technology, whereas others are seen as arising from the capabilities and nature of the technology itself. Thus, Kumar helps answer the question: “When is social choice decisive and when are concrete characteristics of technology more important ?”

According to the passage, constructivists employed which of the following to promote their argument? 

Options

  • Construction of hypothetical situations that support their view.

  • Empirical studies of business situations involving technological change.

  • Description of the breadth of impact of technological change.

  • Contrasts of their view with a misstatement of an opposing view.

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Solution

Contrasts of their view with a misstatement of an opposing view.

Explanation:

(1) The passage does not mention any hypothetical situations as being used by the constructivists in support of their view.   
(2) The passage mentions empirical studies in relation to  Kumar’s study but not to Cravman’s analysis.   
(3) The passage does not describe the constructivists as making determinations regarding the degree of impact that technological change has on social or managerial organizations.   
(4) The passage states that “constructivists gain  acceptance by misrepresenting technological  determinism.” This misrepresentation is presented as  the “alternative to constructivism.” This implies that constructivists promoted their own view by contrasting it with a misrepresentation of determinists’  views. In other words, constructivists have come into fashion by contrasting their own views with a  misrepresentation of the views of technological determinists.   
Therefore, 'Contrasts of their view with a misstatement of an opposing view. ' is the apt answer.   

Concept: Comprehension Passages (Entrance Exams)
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