CAT 2007 Question Paper

Instructions

In each question, there are five sentences/paragraphs. The sentence/ paragraph labelled A is in its correct place. The four that follow are labelled B, C, D and E, and need to be arranged in the logical order to form a coherent paragraph/passage. From the given options, choose the most appropriate option.

Question 73

A. Personal experience of mothering and motherhood are largely framed in relation to two discernible or “official” discourses; the “medical discourse and natural childbirth discourse”. Both of these tend to focus on the “optimistic stories” of birth and mothering and underpin stereotypes of the “godmother”.

B. At the same time, the need for medical expert guidance is also a feature for contemporary reproduction and motherhood. But constructions of good mothering have not always been so conceived and in different contexts may exist in parallel to other equally dominant discourses.

C. Similarly, historical work has shown how what are now taken for granted aspects of reproduction and mothering practices result from contemporary “pseudoscientific directives” and “managed constructs”. These changes have led to a reframing of modern discourses that pattern pregnancy and motherhood leading to an acceptance of the need for greater expert management.

D. The contrasting, overlapping and ambiguous strands with in these frameworks focus to varying degrees on a woman’s biological tie to her child and predisposition to instinctively know and be able to care for her child.

E. In addition, a third, “unofficial popular discourse” comprising “old wives” tales and based on maternal experiences of childbirth has also been noted. These discourses have also been acknowledged in work exploring the experiences of those who apparently do not “conform” to conventional stereotypes of the “good mother”?

Solution

Sentence A introduces two official discourses about childbirth. Sentence E introduces a third discourse and the remaining sentences discuss the features of the mentioned discourses. Hence, A-E form a pair. Sentences D and B focus on the two main features of these discourses - firstly the mother's innate ability to care for the child and secondly, the need for expert medical guidance. As B starts with "At the same time", it should be the second feature. Hence, D-B form a pair. The second sentence in B talks about how the idea of what it means to be a good mother has not always been as indicated in D-B and C backs this assertion up by showing how some beliefs about mothering were challenged as pseudo-scientific and how this has led to a reframing of the discourse. Thus, the order should be A-E-D-B-C.


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