Exercise for integrated writing which combine reading, listening, and writing in TOEFL IBT
The listening passage describes some criticisms of Margaret Mead’s research method which is presented in the reading passage. Critical reviewers argue that Margaret Mead’s research on the effect of culture on gender roles fits too neatly into specific categories. Based on her study in three different societies in New Guinea, she hypothesizes that gender behavior is a result of culture rather than biology.
The first society, The Arapesh, exhibited great similarities in behavior. Both men and women had feminine characteristics such as being sensitive to each other’s feelings and being emotional in actions. The second society that she studied was The Mundgumor who were known as headhunters and cannibals. Both men and women exhibited harsh and aggressive characteristics that were the opposite of the gentle and feminine Araphesh. In the third society, The Tchmuli, Mead found that men and women exhibited very different behavior. Men were emotional and submissive to women while women were dominant and aggressive. Based on this study, she concluded that culture has more influence to determine gender behavior than biology.
In contrast, critical reviewers in the listening passage argue that her research is too neat in specific categories. It is not common in anthropological research that a society remarkably fits same behavior. Furthermore, it is not very normal for any society to have behavior so extreme and all the people in the society act in the same extreme way as well. In addition, general criticism mostly suggests that the research emphasized what Mead was looking for in her theory than what really happened in the society. It means that, perhaps, she was looking for extreme societies which fit the theory she was trying to prove.
To sum up, critical reviewers in the listening passage cast doubt on Margaret Mead’s hypothesis because of how she did the research to support her theory. One very general criticism that came out to her work is what she saw in her studies is too neat and too emphasize to what she was looking to support her theory than what was actually happened in the societies.
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