GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: NO5

A Marxist sociologist has argued that racism stems from the class struggle that is unique to the capitalist system—that racial prejudice is generated by capitalists as a means of controlling workers. His thesis works relatively well when applied to discrimination against Blacks in the United States, but his definition of racial prejudice as "racially-based negative prejudgments against a group generally accepted as a race in any given region of ethnic competition," can be interpreted as also including hostility toward such ethnic groups as the Chinese in California and the Jews in medieval Europe. However, since prejudice against these latter peoples was not inspired by capitalists, he has to reason that such antagonisms were not really based on race. He disposes thusly (albeit unconvincingly) of both the intolerance faced by Jews before the rise of capitalism and the early twentieth-century discrimination against Oriental people in California, which, inconveniently, was instigated by workers.

Question List: 1 2 3 4

The passage supplies information that would answer which of the following questions?

  • A What accounts for the prejudice against the Jews in medieval Europe?
  • B What conditions caused the discrimination against Oriental people in California in the early twentieth century?
  • C Which groups are not in ethnic competi- tion with each other in the United States?
  • D What explanation did the Marxist sociologist give for the existence of racial prejudice?
  • E What evidence did the Marxist sociologist provide to support his thesis?

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