By Adam Reynolds,2014-08-31 03:11
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    In spite of endless talk of difference, American society is an

    amazing machine for homogenizing people. There is the democratizing

    uniformity of dress and discourse, and the casualness and absence of

    deference characteristic of popular culture. People are absorbed into a culture of consumption launched by the 19th-century department

    stores that offered “vast arrays of goods in an elegant atmosphere.

    Instead of intimate shops catering to a knowledgeable elite,” these were

    stores “anyone could enter, regardless of class or background. This

    turned shopping into a public and democratic act.” The mass media, advertising and sports are other forces for homogenization.

    Immigrants are quickly fitting into this common culture, which may not be altogether elevating but is hardly poisonous. Writing for the

    s National Immigration Forum, Gregory Rodriguez nchreports that today

    immigration is neither at unprecedented levels nor resistant to

    assimilation. In 1998 immigrants were 9.8 percent of population; in 1900, 13.6 percent. In the 10 years prior to 1990, 3.1 immigrants arrived for every 1,000 residents; in the 10 years prior to 1890, 9.2 for every 1,000. Now, consider three indices of assimilation -- language, home ownership and intermarriage.

    The 1990 Census revealed that a majority of immigrants from each

    of the fifteen most common countries of origin spoke English well or

    very well after ten years of residence. The children of immigrants

    tend to be bilingual and proficient in English. “By the third generation,

    the original language is lost in the majority of immigrant families.” Hence the description of America as a “graveyard” for languages. By 1996

    foreign-born immigrants who had arrived before 1970 had a home ownership rate of 75.6 percent, higher than the 69.8 percent rate among native-born Americans.

    Foreign-born Asians and Hispanics have higher rates of

    intermarriage than do U.S.-born whites and blacks. By the third

    generation, one third of Hispanic women are married to non-Hispanics, and 41 percent of Asian-American women are married to non-Asians.

    Rodriguez notes that children in remote villages around the world are fans of superstars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Garth Brooks, yet some

    Americans fear that immigrants living within the United States remain somehow immune to the nations assimilative power.”

     Are there divisive issues and pockets of seething anger in America?

    Indeed. It is big enough to have a bit of everything. But particularly when viewed against Americas turbulent past, todays social indices

    hardly suggest a dark and deteriorating social environment. 21. The word homogenizing (Line 2, Paragraph 1) most probably means


[A] identifying

    [B] associating

    [C] assimilating

    [D] monopolizing

    22. According to the author, the department stores of the 19th century


    [A] played a role in the spread of popular culture [B] became intimate shops for common consumers [C] satisfied the needs of a knowledgeable elite

    [D] owed its emergence to the culture of consumption

    23. The text suggests that immigrants now in the U.S. ________. [A] are resistant to homogenization

    [B] exert a great influence on American culture [C] are hardly a threat to the common culture

    [D] constitute the majority of the population

    24. Why are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Garth Brooks mentioned in Paragraph


    [A] To prove their popularity around the world. [B] To reveal the publics fear of immigrants.

    [C] To give examples of successful immigrants.

    [D] To show the powerful influence of American culture.

    25. In the authors opinion, the absorption of immigrants into American society is ________.

    [A] Rewarding

    [B] Successful

    [C] Fruitless

    [D] Harmful

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