P1: A fold culture is small, isolated, cohesive, conservative, nearly self-sufficient group that is homogeneous in custom and race, with a strong family or clan structure and highly developed rituals. Order is maintained through sanctions based in the religion or family, and interpersonal relationships are strong. Tradition is paramount, and change comes infrequently and slowly. There is relatively little division of labor into specialized duties. Rather, each person is expected to perform a great variety of tasks, though duties may differ between the sexes. Most goods are handmade, and a subsistence economy prevails. Individualism is weakly developed in folk cultures, as are social classes. Unaltered folk cultures no longer exist in industrialized countries such as the United States and Canada. Perhaps the nearest modern equivalent in Anglo–America is the Amish, a German American farming sect that largely renounces the products and labor saving devices of the industrial age. In Amish areas, horse-drawn buggies till serve as a local transportation device, and the faithful are not permitted to own automobiles. The Amish’s central religious concept of Demut, “humility”, clearly reflects the weakness of individualism and social class so typical of folk cultures, and there is a corresponding strength of Amish group identity. Rarely do the Amish marry outside their sect. The religion, a variety of the Mennonite faith, provides the principal mechanism for maintaining order.
P2: By contrast, a popular culture is a large heterogeneous group, often highly individualistic and constantly changing. Relationships tend to be impersonal, and a pronounced division of labor exists, leading to the establishment of many specialized professions. Secular institutions, of control such as the police and army take the place of religion and family in maintaining order, and a money-based economy prevails. Because of these contrasts, “popular” may be viewed as clearly different from “folk”. The popular is replacing the folk in industrialized countries and in many developing nations, Folk-made objects give way to their popular equivalent, usually because the popular item is more quickly or cheaply produced, is easier or time saving to use, or lends more prestige to the owner.
- Reading Practice Test 69 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
- Reading Practice Test 67 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
- Reading Practice Test 66 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
- TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 56 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test
- TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 55 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test
19. What does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) Two decades in modern society
(B) The influence of industrial technology
(C) The characteristics of “folk” and “popular” societies
(D) The specialization of labor in Canada and the United States
20. The word “homogeneous” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
21. Which of the following is typical of folk cultures?
(A) There is a money-based economy.
(B) Social change occurs slowly.
(C) Contact with other cultures is encouraged.
(D) Each person develops one specialized skill.
22. What does the author imply about the United States and Canada?
(A) They value folk cultures.
(B) They have no social classes.
(C) They have popular cultures
(D) They do not value individualism
23. The phrase “largely renounces” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
(A) generally rejects
(B) greatly modifies
(C) loudly declares
(D) often criticizes
24. What is the main source of order in Amish society?
(A) The government
(B) The economy
(C) The clan structure
(D) The religion
25. Which of the following statements about Amish beliefs does the passages support?
(A) A variety of religious practices is tolerated.
(B) Individualism and competition are important.
(C) Premodern technology is preferred.
(D) People are defined according to their class.
26. Which of the following would probably NOT be found in a folk culture?
(A) A carpenter
(B) A farmer
(C) A weaver
(D) A banker
27. The word “prevails” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
28. The word “their” in paragraph 2 refers to
29. Which of following is NOT given as a reason why folk-made objects are replaced by mass-produced objects?