Lesson 4 - R&W, Culture - SENSES

From Studia Informatyczne


The text below was written by a man, Sean Elder, and presents a man’s point of view on relationships. Read the text carefully and answer the multiple-choice questions given below:


Last year, I was asked by the editor of a men’s magazine to write a story about intimacy in relationships. (…) Though I tried to steer my expert sources towards simple declarative sentences and do-it-yourself answers, the editor was not happy. “Couldn’t you just give it to us in bullet points?” he asked.” We want a step-by-step guide on how to be emotionally intimate with your woman.” Therein lies (…) the principal dilemma in marriage today. Men have come to accept – even celebrate – their wives’ careers and paychecks while learning step-by-step how to bathe the baby and roast the turkey. But there is no primer on closeness, no chart with: Insert A into slot B, and there you go. Intimacy achieved. (…)
It would be funny if it weren’t so painful. (…) The changes in women’s lives – their roles, ambitions, opportunities – have been considered from every angle. But men’s lives have changed too, in ways that are more contradictory and often less welcome. Men did not ask to have their roles redefined. Now, they’re looking for an instruction manual complete with fine print – and a translator’s guide as well. (…)
The guidelines for being a good husband used to be simple: provide, protect, maybe trim the hedges now and then. Now wives still want all that in a man – and more. Today’s wife wants a confidante and a soul mate as well.
The requirements changed with no warnings, and many husbands feel blindsighted. Most men were raised with the idea that making it in the outside world is how you score points at home. For many women, this also still holds true. It’s not as though they want men to be less goal-oriented or less interested in money. They’re asking for a breadwinner and a best friend.
But the skills needed to be a successful soldier or CEO are literally antithetical to the caring-sharing sort. Success and even heroism are still measured by a man’s ability to compartmentalize, desensitize, act decisively and sacrifice himself. “The essence of masculinity is that what it takes to get love makes us distant from love,” says Warren Farrell, San-Diego-based author of Why Men Earn More and Why Men Are the Way They Are. “That is the male dilemma in a nutshell.”
“Men are beside themselves,” Farrell continues.” There is a fundamental contradiction: If a man is successful at work, he has really prepared himself to be unsuccessful at home. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.”
Most men accept that marriage changes everything and even welcome the transition. Men recognize that marriage requires compromise and sacrifice – but their beliefs about what’s most important are surprisingly traditional and not necessarily in line with women’s beliefs.(…) Men undergo a profound personal transformation when they marry. “Marriage changes men because it is the venue in which adult masculinity is developed and sustained. It is a passage into manhood in an era when the very definition of manhood is in flux.
A married man works longer hours, moves up the career ladder faster and earns more than his single peers. He spends more time with his relatives. He even thinks differently. Marriage makes men more conventional. They’re less likely to engage in risky or deviant forms of behaviour. A wedding is more than an expression of love; it’s a public declaration that a man plans to abide by a set of social expectations about male adulthood. (…)
But there is a catch. Sociologists believe that, since the 1990s, women’s expectations have expanded to include greater intimacy. Indeed, the emotional expectations may now be the most central part of marriage, and, for a lot of husbands trying to rise to the demands of their 21st-century wives, the lessons of intimacy are worse than rocket science. They’re poetry.
(Psychology Today, April 2005)

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A questionnaire is a list of questions designed to collect data. Usually, the questionnaire is used to collect a great deal of information from a large number of informants in a relatively short period of time

You have been asked to collect information about young men’s and women’s attitudes to marriage. Write a 10-12 question questionnaire to collect the information and hand it in to your teacher during your next meeting. In preparation for the task, read the information about different types of questions given below:

Open questions are broad, often specifying only a topic, and allow the respondent considerable freedom in determining the amount and kind of information to give:
e.g. What do you think about living in a big city? (a highly open question)
e.g. How do you feel about living in Warsaw? (a moderately open question)

Closed questions are restrictive in nature and may supply possible answers (in which case they are called multiple-choice questions):
e.g. How long have you lived in this city? _____ years
e.g. Do you live in a big city or in a small town? (a bipolar question)
e.g. Which of these big cities have you ever visited:
____ New York
____ London
____ Paris
____ Chicago
____ Mexico City? (a multiple-choice question)

Primary and secondary (probing, follow-up) questions: the former introduce topics and the latter elicit further information
e.g. Do you like your present place of residence? Y/N (a primary question)
What do you like most about your place of residence? _______________ (a follow-up open question)

Neutral and leading questions: in the latter, the answer is suggested, either explicitly or implicitly
e.g. Don’t you think traffic in this city has become unbearable? (leading)
What do you think about traffic in this city? (neutral)

Double-barrelled question is a multiple question that contains two or more questions and is a common error made by novice interviewers:
e.g. Why don’t you like living in the city? Is it too noisy, too polluted, or maybe you are tired of being anonymous?

HINT: In your questionnaires, avoid highly open questions because they are difficult to tally and leading questions because they distort the actual views of your respondents. Use both moderately open and closed questions, both bipolar and multiple-choice ones. Finally, be sure your questions are not too complex and never ever use double-barrelled questions even if you are a novice interviewer.


Read the article about magic and decide if the statements given below are true (T) or false (F):


People throughout the world have practiced magic from the dawn of history, although, since the 1600’s, their dependence on it has been greatly reduced as their scientific knowledge has increased. Still, many people in non-industrial societies continue to believe in the existence of supernatural power(s) that can be used to control human actions and natural events. So do, in fact, the young fans of Harry Potter, who would gladly spend seven long years at Hogwarts to graduate as fully-fledged witches or wizards. At Hogwarts, as well as in the real world, the practice of magic includes the use of special spells and incantations, rites and rituals, as well as fetishes, amulets and talismans, not to mention a magician (witch doctor, shaman, wizard or sorcerer).
Many people divide magic into black magic – which hurts people – and white magic, which helps them. According to a popular belief, witches and voodoo magicians practice black magic, putting bad spells on people, unlike saints who may use white magic to cure a sick person. Interestingly, we seem to be uncommitted about wizards and sorcerers, who can apparently do both kinds of magic, hurting and helping people as they please, to mention Sauron, Saruman and Lord Voldemort on the one hand, and Gandalf or Aldus Dumbledore on the other.
Anthropologists, who deal with magic professionally, classify magic as homeopathic or contagious. The former kind is based on the premise that like produces like .In this type of magic, also called imitative magic, magicians act out or otherwise imitate what they want to happen, often using a model or miniature of whatever they want to influence.
Contagious magic, in turn, comes from the belief that after a person has had contact with certain things, the latter will continue to influence that person. The most common examples of contagious magic involve parts of the body that have been removed, such as fingernails, hair and teeth, and can supposedly be used to injure or otherwise affect their former owner.
(based on an article from World Book Encyclopedia)

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