XAT 2020 Question 12


Read the passage below and answer the 3 associated questions:

There is nothing spectacularly new in the situation. Most old-societies-turned-young-nation-states learn to live in a world dominated by the psychology and culture of exile. For some, the twentieth century has been a century of refugees. Others like Hannah Arendt have identified refugees as virtually a new species of human being who have come to symbolize the distinctive violence of our time. Refugees as contemporary symbols, however, proclaim something more than a pathology of a global nation-state system. They also represent a state of mind, a form of psychological displacement that has become endemic to modernizing societies. One does not even have to cross national frontiers to become a refugee; one can choose to be seduced by the ‘pull’ of self-induced displacement rather than be ‘pushed’ by an oppressive or violent system at home. It is this changed status of territoriality in human life that explains why, in immigrant societies like the United States, the metaphor of exile is now jaded. Some have already begun to argue that human beings need not have a ‘home’ as it has been traditionally understood in large parts of the world, that the idea itself is a red herring. While the idea of exile begins to appear trite in intellectual circles, an increasingly large proportion of the world is getting reconciled to living with the labile sense of self. Exile no longer seems a pathology or an affliction. Displacement and the psychology of exile are in; cultural continuities and settled communities are out; there is a touch of ennui about them.

Question 12

Which of the following options is CLOSEST to the meaning of the phrase “labile sense of self”?


The word labile refers to the ability to the tendency to alter or adapt quickly. So the phrase "labile sense of self" concerning refugees and exile means the ability of a refugee to adapt to new geography.

Hence the correct option is C.

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