It can be inferred that which one of the following best exemplifies the "received attitudes" mentioned in line 18?

Shiyi on June 3, 2019

Why is B incorrect?

Why is B incorrect?

1 Reply

Ravi on June 4, 2019


Happy to help. Let's look at (B) and (C).

We're looking for the answer choice that gives us an example of one of
the received attitudes that's mentioned in line 18. In looking at line
18, the author notes that Shostak's study corrects and qualifies a
number of received attitudes that readers may have about "simple"
societies (lines 17-19). The passage's author goes into more detail by
making the argument that Michel Leiris' quote that "We are all too
inclined to consider a people happy if considering them makes us
happy" applies well to the !Kung because they have a seemingly
uncomplicated way of life, enlightened attitudes toward child-rearing,
and undeniable charm that make them prime candidates for Western
appreciation (lines 19-25). The author brings all of this up to make
the point that normal Western readers have ideas that seminomadic
tribes like the !Kung live very simple and enjoyable lives. However,
Shostak's work demonstrates that the !Kung has a number of big
problems, pushing back on the received attitude mentioned in line 18.

(C) says, "People who live seminomadic lives have few serious problems."

(C) does a great job in showing the type of received attitude
mentioned in line 18 that Shostak's book works to correct. (C) is the
correct answer choice.

(B) says, "Considering the !Kung makes Western observers happy."

The problem with (B) is that it's far too specific to exemplify what
the author meant in saying "received attitudes" in line 18. The
received attitudes refers to Westerners perceptions of these societies
being simple, but they don't refer to anything that is specific or
unique to the !Kung people. While considering the !Kung may very well
make Westerners happy, the received attitudes mentioned in line 18
refers to the preconceived perceptions that Westerners have about
societies that are very similar to the !Kung that invoke feelings of
happiness in the reader when thinking about that tribe. Thus, (B) is

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any more questions!