Reading Comprehension for CAT PDF

Reading Comprehension for CAT PDF
Reading Comprehension for CAT PDF

Reading Comprehension for CAT PDF consists of a set of Reading Comprehension Passage with questions and Answers. This RC Passages for CAT PDF will be helpful for all other MBA exams also including XAT, IIFT, CMAT, GMAT, GRE, NMAT, TISS etc.,

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Reading Comprehension for CAT:

Reading Comprehension Passage [CAT 2007]

The passage given below is followed by a set of three questions. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.

Human Biology does nothing to structure human society. Age may enfeeble us all, but cultures vary considerably in the prestige and power they accord to the elderly. Giving birth is a necessary condition for being a mother, but it is not sufficient. We expect mothers to behave in maternal ways and to display appropriately maternal sentiments. We prescribe a clutch of norms or rules that govern the role of a mother. That the social role is independent of the biological base can be demonstrated by going back three sentences. Giving birth is certainly not sufficient to be a mother but, as adoption and fostering show, it is not even necessary!

The fine detail of what is expected of a mother or a father or a dutiful son differs from culture to culture, but everywhere behaviour is coordinated by the reciprocal nature of roles. Husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees, waiters and customers, teachers and pupils, warlords and followers; each makes sense only in its relation to the other. The term ‘role’ is an appropriate one, because the metaphor of an actor in a play neatly expresses the rule-governed nature or scripted nature of much of social life and the sense that society is a joint production. Social life occurs only because people play their parts (and that is as true for war and conflicts as for peace and love) and those parts make sense only in the context of the overall show. The drama metaphor also reminds us of the artistic licence available to the players. We can play a part straight or, as the following from J.P. Sartre conveys, we can ham it up.

Let us consider this waiter in the cafe. His movement is quick and forward, a little too precise, a little too rapid. He comes towards the patrons with a step a little too quick. He bends forward a little too eagerly; his voice, his eyes express an interest a little too solicitous for the order of the customer. Finally there he returns, trying to imitate in his walk the inflexible stiffness of some kind of automaton while carrying his tray with the recklessness of a tightrope-walker….All his behaviour seems to us a game….But what is he playing? We need not watch long before we can explain it: he is playing at being a waiter in a cafe.

The American sociologist Erving Goffman built an influential body of social analysis on elaborations of the metaphor of social life as drama. Perhaps his most telling point was that it is only through acting out a part that we express character. It is not enough to be evil or virtuous; we have to be seen to be evil or virtuous. There is distinction between the roles we play and some underlying self. Here we might note that some roles are more absorbing than others. We would not be surprised by the waitress who plays the part in such a way as to signal to us that she is much more than her occupation. We would be surprised and offended by the father who played his part ‘tongue in cheek’. Some roles are broader and more far-reaching than others. Describing someone as a clergyman or faith healer would say far more about that person than describing someone as a bus driver.

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What is the thematic highlight of this passage?

What is the thematic highlight of this passage?
A. In the absence of strong biological linkages, reciprocal roles provide the mechanism for coordinating human behaviour.
B. In the absence of reciprocal roles, biological linkages provide the mechanism for coordinating human behaviour.
C. Human behaviour is independent of biological linkages and reciprocal roles.
D. Human behaviour depends on biological linkages and reciprocal roles.
E. Reciprocal roles determine normative human behavior in society.

Question 2

Which of the following would have been true if biological linkages structured human society?
A. The role of mother would have been defined through her reciprocal relationship with her children.
B. We would not have been offended by the father playing his role ‘tongue in cheek’.
C. Women would have adopted and fostered children rather than giving birth to them.
D. Even if warlords were physically weaker than their followers, they would still dominate them.
E. Waiters would have stronger motivation to serve their customers.

Question 3

It has been claimed in the passage that “some roles are more absorbing than others”. According to passage, which of the following seem(s) appropriate reason(s) for such a claim?
A. Some roles carry great expectations from the society preventing manifestation of the true self.

B. Society ascribes so much importance to some roles that the conception of self may get aligned with the roles being performed.

C. Some roles require development of skill and expertise leaving little time for manifestation of self.

A. A Only

B. B Only C.

C Only

D. A & B Only

E. B & C Only

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Answers and Explanations:

Question 1: Option (e)

The passage does not talk about “absence of strong biological linkages”. Hence, option A is wrong. The statement in option 2 does not agree with the passage. Hence, option B is wrong.
Option 3 is contrary to the passage. The passage never stated that human behavior depends on biological linkages. Hence, option D is wrong.
Option E correctly captures the theme of the passage.

Question 2: Option (b)

We must look for an option that we do not consider as normal.
Except option B, all the options are normal.
For example, it is absolutely fine with us if a waiter serves more than that is expected from him.
But we are offended when a father behaves in a tongue in cheek manner. If biological linkages structured human society, it should not matter to us how a father behaves. Hence, option B is the correct answer.

Question 3:

Option (d)
Statement A has been discussed in the passage while giving the example of clergymen and waiter. Hence, it is correct.
By the example of the father, we can say that statement B is true.
In the passage, the author has not mentioned that development of skill may result in denial of the self. So, statement C is incorrect.
So, only statements A and B are correct. Option d) is the correct answer.

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