The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

Sociologists working in the Chicago School tradition have focused on how rapid or dramatic social change causes increases in crime. Just as Durkheim, Marx, Toennies, and other European sociologists thought that the rapid changes produced by industrialization and urbanization produced crime and disorder, so too did the Chicago School theorists. The location of the University of Chicago provided an excellent opportunity for Park, Burgess, and McKenzie to study the social ecology of the city. Shaw and McKay found . . . that areas of the city characterized by high levels of social disorganization had higher rates of crime and delinquency.

In the 1920s and 1930s Chicago, like many American cities, experienced considerable immigration. Rapid population growth is a disorganizing influence, but growth resulting from in-migration of very different people is particularly disruptive. Chicago's in-migrants were both native-born whites and blacks from rural areas and small towns, and foreign immigrants. The heavy industry of cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Pittsburgh drew those seeking opportunities and new lives. Farmers and villagers from America's hinterland, like their European cousins of whom Durkheim wrote, moved in large numbers into cities. At the start of the twentieth century, Americans were predominately a rural population, but by the century's mid-point most lived in urban areas. The social lives of these migrants, as well as those already living in the cities they moved to, were disrupted by the differences between urban and rural life. According to social disorganization theory, until the social ecology of the ''new place'' can adapt, this rapid change is a criminogenic influence. But most rural migrants, and even many of the foreign immigrants to the city, looked like and eventually spoke the same language as the natives of the cities into which they moved. These similarities allowed for more rapid social integration for these migrants than was the case for African Americans and most foreign immigrants.

In these same decades America experienced what has been called ''the great migration'': the massive movement of African Americans out of the rural South and into northern (and some southern) cities. The scale of this migration is one of the most dramatic in human history. These migrants, unlike their white counterparts, were not integrated into the cities they now called home. In fact, most American cities at the end of the twentieth century were characterized by high levels of racial residential segregation . . . Failure to integrate these migrants, coupled with other forces of social disorganization such as crowding, poverty, and illness, caused crime rates to climb in the cities, particularly in the segregated wards and neighborhoods where the migrants were forced to live.

Foreign immigrants during this period did not look as dramatically different from the rest of the population as blacks did, but the migrants from eastern and southern Europe who came to American cities did not speak English, and were frequently Catholic, while the native born were mostly Protestant. The combination of rapid population growth with the diversity of those moving into the cities created what the Chicago School sociologists called social disorganization.

Question: 1

A fundamental conclusion by the author is that:

  1. the best circumstances for crime to flourish are when there are severe racial disparities.

  2. to prevent crime, it is important to maintain social order through maintaining social segregation.

  3. according to European sociologists, crime in America is mainly in Chicago.

  4. rapid population growth and demographic diversity give rise to social disorganisation that can feed the growth of crime.

Option: 4
The main idea of the passage is that social disorganization can lead to increases in crimes. This is the backbone of the passage, with the discussion primarily centering around Chicago. Option 1 goes out because firstly the passage does not say anything about ‘the best circumstances in which crimes flourish’. Also, racial disparity is just one factor of social disorganization. There are many more. Option 2 goes out because the author of the passage is not in favor of social segregation. He instead desires social integration (read the second last paragraph). Option 3 is absurd. Nowhere there is any point made about crime in America being centered primarily in Chicago. Option 4 is the best choice.

Question: 2

Which one of the following sets of words/phrases best encapsulates the issues discussed in the passage?

  1. Durkheim; Marx; Toennies; Shaw

  2. Chicago School; Native-born Whites; European immigrants; Poverty

  3. Chicago School; Social organisation; Migration; Crime

  4. Rapid population growth; Heavy industry; Segregation; Crime

Option: 3
Both option 1 and 2 should be eliminated because in both the options, the word social disorganization/ organization is missing. Compared with 4, 3 is better because heavy industry is not a keyword of the passage. Also, more than population growth it is migration that is primary reason behind social disorganization. 3 is the best choice.

Question: 3

Which one of the following is not a valid inference from the passage?

  1. The differences between urban and rural lifestyles were crucial factors in the disruption experienced by migrants to American cities.

  2. According to social disorganisation theory, the social integration of African American migrants into Chicago was slower because they were less organised.

  3. According to social disorganisation theory, fast-paced social change provides fertile ground for the rapid growth of crime.

  4. The failure to integrate in-migrants, along with social problems like poverty, was a significant reason for the rise in crime in American cities.

Option: 2
This question can be answered either by selection or elimination. If we go by elimination, we will have to check and verify each choice, but if we go by selection, we immediately see that option 2 says something that does not make sense. In the passage it is nowhere mentioned that African Americans were less organized, as though there were into some management set up in an organization, and were less organized than the others. It becomes the right answer right away because all the other three choices are valid inferences.

Question: 4

The author notes that, " At the start of the twentieth century, Americans were predominately a rural population, but by the century's mid-point most lived in urban areas." Which one of the following statements, if true, does not contradict this statement?

  1. Demographic transition in America in the twentieth century is strongly marked by an out-migration from rural areas.

  2. The estimation of per capita income in America in the mid-twentieth century primarily required data from rural areas.

  3. Economists have found that throughout the twentieth century, the size of the labour force in America has always been largest in rural areas.

  4. A population census conducted in 1952 showed that more Americans lived in rural areas than in urban ones.

Option: 1
Does not contradict the passage= supports the passage. We should find a choice that supports the passage. If there is an out-migration from rural areas, it will support the author’s point of view because according to him this migration led to population rise in cities, resulting in social disorganization because not everyone was absorbed in city social fabric (read last two paragraphs). Option 2 does not support because if data is from rural areas is required, it means that the population was primarily based in rural areas, something that is against the passage. Similar flaw is there in option 3 and option 4 as well. They both lay emphasis on rural population, whereas the passage is concerned about migration from rural areas to cities.

CAT 2022 RC passage with solution