In using the phrase "technological determinism" (line 35), the author refers to the idea that

Jeremy on April 26, 2019

Why is E a better answer choice than A?

I chose A because of its use of the term "predestined." E, which makes reference to "fundamental ways," seemed too vague. Please clarify.

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Ravi on April 26, 2019


Great question. The question says, "In using the phrase “technological
determinism” (line 35), the author refers to the idea that..."

(A) says, "technology is exchanged in ways that appear to be predestined"

The problem with (A) is that Ginsburg is not discussing in the third
paragraph how technology is exchanged or how it ends up in the
possession of indigenous people. Thus, she is not referring to how
technological exchange appears to be predestined when she is using the
phrase "technological determinism." As a result, we can get rid of

(E) says, "cultures are shaped in fundamental ways by the technologies they use"

In the third paragraph, the focus is on Ginsburg's critique of
Weiner's position. Ginsburg is arguing that Weiner's stance is "little
more than boilerplate technological determinism" (line 35) when Weiner
contends that using a video camera makes one unwittingly Western. From
this, we know that when the author uses the phrase "technological
determinism," she is referring to the fact that Weiner believes that
using a camera alone is sufficient to turn indigenous cultures into
Western ones. This leads us to (E), which states that the term in
question is referring to how cultures are shaped in fundamental ways
by the technologies they use. This is precisely what Ginsburg is
criticizing Weiner for thinking, so (E) is the correct choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any more questions!

Jeremy on April 26, 2019

Yes, thanks!

Ravi on April 27, 2019

@JeremyG, happy it helped!

on October 21, 2020

Why not C? I thought C also explained how technology turned indigenous cultures into
Western ones

on March 28, 2021

Hello why not C? If someone can please explain thank you