Which of the Following Statements About the Modernization of the Printing Press is Supported by the Information Provided in the Passage? - English Language


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 ?”

Which of the following statements about the modernization of the Printing Press is supported by the information provided in the passage?


  • Some of the maintenance workers felt victimized by the new technology.

  • The modernization was implemented without the consent of the employees directly affected by it.

  • The new technology reduced the role of managers in labor negotiations.

  • The modernization had an impact that went significantly beyond maintenance routines.



The modernization had an impact that went significantly beyond maintenance routines.


Kumar’s study focused on the modernisation of a  Government Printing Press and the effect this had on  maintenance work and workers.   
1. The passage does not suggest that maintenance workers felt victimized by the modernisation of the  Printing Press.   
2. The passage does not discuss the role of employee consent in the modernisation of the Printing Press.   
3. The passage does not discuss whether the new technology reduces the role of managers in labor negotiations or not.   
4. The passage states “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.” This  implies that the modernisation of the Printing Press affected much more than maintenance routines.   
Therefore, 'The modernization had an impact that went significantly beyond maintenance routines. ' is the apt answer.

Concept: Comprehension Passages (Entrance Exams)
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