VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 22 POSTED ON: 4/30/2013
Passage Not Just Shopping: Insights into the New Consumer Shopping, once thought of as a chore, is said to be the most popular leisure activity in Britain. But if we think about consumption as merely a visit to the shopping mall or superstore, we are probably missing the point. A major research programme, Cultures of Consumption, is providing new ways of thinking about consumption and consumerism. The call of the mall, or the lure of material goods, dominates popular ideas about consumption and consumerism. Our bookshelves and magazine racks groan under the weight of books and articles asking the same question: why do we buy so much stuff? Is it to increase our sense of well-being, or have we merely become slaves to an aspirational consumerism, buying things we do not need and destroying the planet in the process? In the United States liberal commentators are gripped by a moral panic about the development of a culture in which average citizens copy and compete with the rich and famous to buy the most fashionable and highest-status items they can -- a case not merely of keeping up with the Joneses, but with the J-Lo's as well. In Britain, meanwhile, where unfettered consumption has helped push consumer debt to a record ￡984.8 billion (nearly equivalent to the nation's entire annual national income), Sir Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London, has coined the term Status Syndrome to describe how being seen to consume more material products than your peers can transform for the better your chances of living a contented life. The great paradox uncovered by this focus on aspirational consumption, of course, is that it is not making us any happier. Professor Barry Schwartz, professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore University and author of? The Paradox of Choice, is one of many who now blame "the paralysing effects of a marketplace that offers a bewildering and ultimately debilitating array of alternatives" for fuelling not greater satisfaction, but greater anxiety. Added to this are growing anxieties about the stultifying blandness in our cultural environment that results from the appearance of branches of the same global retail chains on virtually every high street. But our preoccupation with the way shopping has been elevated from utilitarian chore to a way of life obscures the significance of forms and modes of consumption that do not centre on the commercial purchase of goods, such as visits to a club, a museum or a doctor and riding on a bus or a train. It also neglects the changing paradigms of consumption and the ways in which consumption interacts with the rest of society. As Dr Frank Trentmann, senior lecturer in history at Birkbeck College, London, and director of a major research programme entitled Cultures of Consumption, says, "consumption is as much about services, experiences, and citizenship as it is about the acquisition of goods." Consumers do not, for example, merely decide what products to buy; they also help to shape them. Take text messaging. Now an integral part of modern life, it started as almost a throw-away by-product during the emergence of mobile telephony. Mobile phone companies found they had the capacity to send 160 characters of data as well as voice, but were not entirely sure of what use it might be. It was their teenage consumers who led the way by popularising texting and even inventing a new language for it. Consumers are not just shaping new uses for new products, but reshaping uses of existing ones too. Items such as BT's Big Button telephone, which was originally designed for people with disabilities, are now fast becoming cult objects of desire for non-disabled people, who are attracted by their superior design and their ease of use. We are now even seeing consumers as creators themselves, producing their own products. Users are attracted to internet chat rooms, for example, by the content. And the content, of course, is put there by the users themselves. The Cultures of Consumption Programme, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Board, attempts to reconnect the subject of consumption with the debate on these and other issues. The ~ 5 million Programme examines consumption in a global context through a wide range of projects that extend far beyond the study of the mass consumer society, to include the consumption of social and public services and the relationship between consumption and citizenship through the emergence of collective identities and shared goals. From the early organised actions of the co-operative societies to the less orderly protests of the anti-globalism activists and the fuel protestors, consumer movements have provided powerful structures for political engagement. It is in this context that the post-war consumer movement can be said to be, in Dr Trentmann's words, "on the verge of becoming a 'citizens' movement". As the commentator Naomi Klein says in No Logo, her polemic against global brands, "Ethical shareholders, culture jammers, street reclaimers, human-rights hacktivists, school-logo fighters and internet corporate watchdogs are at the early stages of demanding a citizen-centred alternative to the international rule of the brands ... as global, and as capable of co-ordinated action, as the multinational corporations it seeks to subvert". Or, in the words of one urban teenager quoted by Klein: "Nike, we made you. We can break you". The rising usage by consumers of specialist technical information on the internet, and its impact on our use of professional services, is just one of the areas that the Cultures of Consumption Programme is studying in an attempt to explore the changing nature of consumer power. The services featured in this particular study are health care, legal advice and investment management. Consumer behaviour is also explored in the programme through two projects studying the effects of the growing "food mile" (the distance between food producers and consumers, taking in growers, processors, packagers and retailers) on consumer confidence, as well as one on the role of ethical considerations in shaping purchasing patterns. There are also international studies on the commodification of water and on the relationship between the primary producers in Mexico of chicle/chewing gum and changes in the world consumer market for gum. The issues raised by Cultures of Consumption are complex and far- reaching and many are likely to remain unresolved for years to come. But only by expanding the public debate beyond the confines for the shopping mall can we start to address them. Comprehension Questions 1--4 Choose the best answer. 1. Which statement is correct according to this passage? [A] Shopping used to be the most popular leisure activity in Britain. [B] It is commonly believed that people love shopping owing to the attraction of material goods. [C] The increasingly unfettered consumption made people happier. [D] Modern consumption offers people better shopping experience with better environment, service and more alternatives. 2. What does the word "Joneses" in paragraph three stand for? [A] celebrities. [B] lower class. [C] neighbours. [D] citizens. 3. According to Dr. Frank Trentmann, consumption is about the following items except ______. [A] commercial purchase [B] citizenship [C] competing with the famous [D] services 4. What is implied by the example of BT's Big Button telephone? [A] Abled people also prefer the design and usage of this telephone. [B] This telephone is designed with disabled people in mind. [C] The designing of this telephone was motivated by consumer's request. [D] Consumers now posses the power to turn something old into something trendy. Questions 5--8 Complete the following sentences with NO MORE THAN three words for each blank. 5. When we purchase unnecessary stuff, we are probably being influenced by ______. 6. The text messaging was made popular by ______. 7. The goal of international rule of brands is to ______. 8. The Cultures of Consumption Programme is exploring the nature of consumer power in the fields of ______, ______ and ______. Part Ⅱ Exercise 1 Use of English Read the following text and fill each of the numbered spaces with ONE suitable word. Etiquette in Cell Phone users "The more gadgets there are, the (1) things seem to get." said Honore Ervin, co-author of The Etiquette Girls: Things You Need to Be Told. "Just because it's there (2) your disposal, doesn't mean you have to use it 24/7." A recent (3) by market research company Synovate showed that 70 percent of 1,000 respondents (4) the poorest etiquette in cell phone users over other devices. The worst habit? Loud phone conversations in public places, or "cell yell," (5) to 72 percent of the Americans polled. "People use (6) anywhere and everywhere," Ervin said. "At the movies -- turn (7) your cell phone. I don't want to pay $10 to be sitting next to some guy chitchatting to his girlfriend (8) his cell phone." This rudeness has deteriorated public spaces, according to Lew Friedland, a communication professor (9) the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He (10) the lack of manners a kind of unconscious rudeness, (11) many people are not (12) of what they're doing or the others around them. "I think it's really noticeable in any plane, train or bus (13) you're subjected against your will (14) someone else's conversation," he said. "You can listen to intimate details of their uncle's illness, problems with their lovers, and (15) they're having for dinner. "It (16) what was a public common space and starts to (17) it up into small private space." A short time ago, if cell phone users (18) politely asked to talk quietly, they would (19) with chagrin, he said. "Now more and more people are essentially treating you like you don't understand that loud cell phone use is (20) in public." Exercise 2 Multiple Matching Answer questions 1--10 by referring to the following passages. Answer each question by choosing A, B, C or D. (Note: When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order. Some choices may be required more than once.) A = Jancis Robinson B = Anthony Rose C = David Moore D = Malcolm Gluck Which wine critic(s) thinks that consumers have contributed to the situation in UK wine criticism? shows more direct critique on the colleague's writing? can make a good living out of wine critic? share common negative idea on some of their colleagues? believes that honesty is the most important thing? admits that UK wine market is not as well-developed as some other countries? predicts that customers will not have to rely on the recommendations of wine critics? insists on having never been written under the pressure of press? thinks that wine critics must be good at communication? 1. ______ 2. ______ 3. ______ 4. ______ 5. ______ 6. ______ 7. ______ 8. ______ 9. ______ 10. ______ One might easily imagine that wine critics have an enviable lifestyle. They spend much of their time drinking wines, provided, for the most part, for free. It is a respectable job that involves meeting many wealthy and talented individuals. To get the inside view on the world of wine criticism in the UK, I spoke to some of Britain's most influential critics: Jancis Pobinson MW, who writes for the Financial Times; Anthony Rose of the Independent; David Moore, whose book Wine Behind the Label is now in its fifth edition; and Malcolm Gluck, the broadcaster and author who had a regular column about wine in the Guardian for more than 15 years. Summarizing wine criticism is not easy, though Anthony Rose made a good' attempt at it. "Wine tasting is an inadequate science. It requires an objective assessment of the wine and a subjective assessment of the taste, and then a form in which you can communicate this to the reader. It means being an all-round communicator of the enjoyment of wine." It is obviously that it is a fairly closed and yet gregarious world. "Ahhh ... haaa," was how one well-known critic greeted my proposal to discuss their wine-commentating colleagues, as if I'd caught them walking out the door with my favorite Burgundy glass. "So the small upside of alienating all my colleagues in your article is that a couple of people click through to my website?" Clearly I wasn't going to collect too much data on how critics feel about each other. Rose referred to a recent correspondence where one commentator felt it was not a wine critic's duty to criticize his colleagues. Certainly there doesn't appear to be much mud-slinging among the critics in other creative spheres, such as literature and film-making. Still, one might be forgiven for thinking that the world of wine criticism is just a little too cosy. I put that question to Jancis Robinson, who regarded the whole topic as fairly incendiary. Rose, however, felt that integrity ultimately wins out, and he hadn't had any hesitation in panning a recent book published by a colleague, despite the potential awkwardness. "I didn't pull my punches. If he doesn't want to speak to me again, then that's just one of the hazards of the job. If you write an honest opinion on a wine or about a wine book, then that will be respected." Malcolm Gluck agreed wholeheartedly, even deriding his colleagues who form part of a special wine literary circle. "It is all a bit clubby ... It's not something I join in much although I'm a member. It leads to critical blandness." Rose was more mollifying and ventured, "I think we should thank the likes of Hugh Johnson, Oz Clarke and Jancis Robinson for raising the profile of wine criticism generally and giving more people the opportunity to write about wine in publications, getting away from its elitist nature." The famous American wine critic Robert Parker has suggested that UK wine critics aren't as independent as they might be, although Robinson thought this was more true in the past, when those who traded wine also wrote about it. Some feel Parker has gone too far, however, in endorsing a book that libeled a well-known French wine critic and wrongly accused the commentator of working for certain producers. Even if the independence of critics is now more robust, there does seem to be too much opportunity for manipulating the coverage of writing by large retailers and brand owners. Robinson agreed that wine commentating could be improved "if critics got out and about a bit more, rather than relying on being spoon-fed by the rather mundane press tastings put on by the multiple retailers." When I tried to push her to name names, she rebuffed me before I had even finished asking the question. She confirmed, though, that her newspaper editors have never put any pressure on her to write about any specific wines. The degree to which journalists were being "spoon-fed by the wine trade" was a point I put to Rose. "1 can't speak for other critics but only myself. I go to many vineyards around the world, trade and press tastings, and tasting put on by importers and producers. It's really up to each critic to get out and about as much as possible in order to sift through the hype. The customer isn't stupid. They can soon see if a critic is in the pay of the wine trade. Certainly there are trips offered by individual producers, which puts pressure on the writer to write about those individuals, but I don't go on those." David Moore agreed, "The perception of independence is important." The problem for the critics, as Moore sees them, stem from the tastes of consumer. "Newspaper columns are becoming a reflection of what is happening in the retail market. As a nation, we're not interested in wine the way they are in the United States, France and Italy, and that's reflected in what people are reading about." However, that's not the perception one would have while reading his book, Wine Behind the Label, and Moore confirms that the USA is now a much more important market than the domestic UK market. Even worse, he didn't feel that the UK market is well served. "Too big retailers and too big brand," he said. "It's a shame we don't hear more about what is on offer from specialist retailers, which is partly their fault. The scope for the consumer is pretty poor in terms of what is available for them to drink. A lot of smaller good producers are struggling, and they're not written about, and they're not available in the UK." There is a sense that some critics are unable to write about wines that interests them -- that they are being manipulated by the wine trade -- but at least they're all working hard and enjoying a great lifestyle. This lifestyle perception is not as real as one might think. "There are undoubtedly one or two people at the top," said Rose, "such as Robert Parker, Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson and Oz Clarke, who are making a reasonable living from wine because they're popular, they're good and they've successfully branded themselves. Most of the rest of us are in another group that manages to get by. And then there are other people who dabble, who need to supplement their income or they have another job, but they are doing something they love doing." We are back to where we started, and I put the question referring to their colleagues another way: who is the worst king of critic, and what can be done about it? "1 think we're our own worst critics," offered Rose. "We mostly come to wine writing because we love wine, not because we're writers. There are a couple who can write very well, but most of us are just struggling along, doing our best to get our enthusiasm and passion across to our readers." Gluck was more forthright, "It is the person who takes no account of his or her readership and simply parades toffee- nosed views about how much you should spend, implying the more you spend, the better the value -- which is absolute rubbish." According to Robinson, "We should go out and try a bit harder with inspiration for our stories and be more original." But these domestic issues should not be the only concerns for critics -- or, indeed, for consumers. In pensive mood, Rose said, "The world wine glut is posing a severe strain on the social fabric of the wine trade, particularly in France. It is sad that this is happening, and I hope we will begin to see supply and demand achieve more of a balance to eradicate those social and economic problems." Gluck's words were more chilling. "I've always tried to give people confidence to make judgments using their own palate," he said. "I believe that wine critics will eventually write themselves out of existence. Columns are becoming less and less read and less and less relevant, because people are more confident about their purchases, up to a certain price point." Could he be right? Exercise 3 Speaking Topic: Factors influencing your choices of consumption What factors may influence our choices of consumption? Here is a list of some possible factors. Choose three from and list the talk about it. necessity advertisement friends' suggestion peer pressure habit brand attraction celebrity worship image buying Exercise 4 Writing You are expected to write at least 250 words about the following topic. How do people make consumer choices and what will be the impact of online shopping? Passage Dissolving the Boundaries of Age We have reached a significant crossroads, the closing of one millennium and the beginning of another. This is a momentous occasion by all accounts. Yet what is remarkable is what awaits the world in this new era as it undergoes a demographic revolution. The world is changing as it ages, and just as older persons have been agents of that change, they must also be its beneficiaries. At the same time, we must rethink rigid distinctions that define age and give it boundaries. Everyone, individually and collectively, is joined in this single human venture, and everyone will respond, in their own way, to the opportunities as well as the challenges. Ageing is not a separate issue from social integration, gender advancement, economic stability or issues of poverty. It has developed a connection with many global agendas and will play, increasingly, a prominent role in the way society interacts with economic and social welfare institutions, family and community life and the roles of women. The complex infrastructure of society as well as the unique life course of individuals can be dramatically altered by a progressive upward shift in the global population. The total effect cannot be easily absorbed. The present imperative is that societies must respond to the extraordinary potential and range of variability in individual ageing, and seize the opportunity to rethink our notion of limits and recognize the far-reaching benefits societies stand to gain from the continuing contributions of their older citizens. We have all heard of the remarkable demographic change that is under way. But our task is not to dwell on what we already know. It is rather to equip ourselves and future generations with the tools to meet its challenge and imagine what can be done. Let us see this new century as an opportunity to reinforce belief in the possibilities of non-violence and peaceful cooperation in order to promote progress for all ages in all areas. We are all constituents of an ageing society, rural and city dwellers, public and private sector identities, families and individuals, old and young alike. It is crucial that societies adjust to this human paradigm as record numbers of people live into very old age, if we are to move towards a society for all ages. [Let us] ... continue the dialogue and build on partnerships that can bring us closer to a society that weaves all ages into the larger human community in which we thrive. A Call for Revolutionary Thinking We live in an ageing world. While this has been recognized for some time in developed countries, it is only recently that this phenomenon has been fully acknowledged. Global communication is "shrinking" the world, and global ageing is "maturing" it. The increasing presence of older persons in the world is making people of all ages more aware that we live in a diverse and multigenerational society. It is no longer possible to ignore ageing, regardless of whether one views it positively or negatively. Demographers note that if current trends in ageing continue as predicted, a demographic revolution, wherein the proportions of the young and the old will undergo a historic crossover, will be felt in just three generations. This portrait of change in the world's population parallels the magnitude of the industrial revolution -- traditionally considered the most significant social and economic breakthrough in the history of humankind since the Neolithic period. It marked the beginning of a sustained movement towards modern economic growth in much the same way that globalization is today marking an unprecedented and sustained movement toward a "global culture". The demographic revolution, it is envisaged, will be at least as powerful. While the future effects are not known, a likely scenario is one where both the challenges as well as the opportunities will emerge from a vessel into which exploration and research, dialogue and debate are poured. Challenges arise as social and economic structures try to adjust to the simultaneous phenomenon of diminishing young cohorts with rising older ones, and opportunities present themselves in the sheer number of older individuals and the vast resources societies stand to gain from their contribution. This ageing of the population permeates all social, economic and cultural spheres. Revolutionary change calls for new, revolutionary thinking, which can position policy formulation and implementation on sounder footing. In our ageing world, new thinking requires that we view ageing as a lifelong and society-wide phenomenon, not a phenomenon exclusively pertaining to older persons. Meanings and Images in an Ageing Society Images of ageing are rooted in culture and cut right to the marrow of the society in which we live. However, the understanding of one's language and culture can very often contrast with the meanings and images given it by others. This paradox also mimics ageing in advanced societies, where, with the accumulation of years and experience, roles diminish, and images play a part. Mass media, the machine of image-making, is also a link in the globalization chain, and can have profound effects on the developing world, and particularly on the older women who live there. For its part, the flow and interchange of ideas and information through new technologies is as much an extraordinary achievement as it is an ordinary fact of life. The positive impact that is gained from other ideas, learning about other populations, areas of expertise, and alternative ways of life is boundless. But knowledge and images are often mutual passengers in the information voyage and the image landscape conveyed by the western media weighs heavily on the side of glorifying youth, while either omitting older persons or depicting them in stereotypes. This has a particular impact on the lives of older women, as they tend to suffer greater political, social, and economic exclusion than do older men. As society ages however, it also changes in ways that relate to age. Perceptions of the transitions that mark the boundaries of age are being altered as family, kinship and community structures change. In many parts of the world it is not uncommon today to be part of a four-generation family, where the chronological rules for assuming the roles of grandparents or grandchildren are increasingly blurred. At the same time, more individuals are growing older outside of traditional family networks and are simulating family life through communities or primary groups. The rhythm of the life cycle continues to develop through these different dynamics and, consequently, is not as tightly bound by chronological age or stages as it once may have been. The same can be said for images that surround the idea of change. While change often arouses anxiety, challenges that stem from new orders of complexity should be met with inquiry rather than reproach. Situations or choices that once seemed incompatible, work or retirement, strength or vulnerability, can be approached and accommodated within the same creative mix that occupies the vastness and diversity of life in the human community. The new architecture of ageing requires policies that remove obstacles and facilitate contributions. It also requires seminal thinking and images that reflect reality and potential, not stereotypes and myths. So relative are the experiences of ageing in different parts of the world, and so complex and multiple their roles, that the world can no longer accept images of ageing as a panorama of near homogeneity. Policy Considerations Old age policies were designed, for most of the 20th century, with a youthful society in mind. From this point onward, policies for older persons, younger persons and those in between, must be designed with an ageing society in mind, society where soon, every third individual will be over the age of 60. International, national and local communities must begin now to adjust and design their infrastructures, policies, plans and resources. Policy interventions that include social and human, as well as economic investments, can prevent unnecessary dependencies from arising whether in late life for individuals or downstream in ageing societies. When judicious investments are made in advance, experts suggest that ageing can be changed from a drain on resources to build-up of humane social, economic and environmental capital. This requires investing in the phases of life, fostering enabling societies, and creating flexible but vibrant collaborations in the process, through which the future building of a society for all ages can take hold in the present. Finally, recognition of the uniqueness that unfolds throughout one's life is core to igniting society's embrace of the contributions of its older citizens. The "package" of knowledge, wisdom and experience that so often comes with age is part of an inner awareness that cannot be traded, sold or stolen. It should, however, be activated, amplified and utilized in all the crossroads, fields and storefronts of society, and in the windows of our creative imaginations. Comprehension Questions 1--3 Choose the best answer. 1. The author of this article believes ______. [A] ageing is a problem for developed countries [B] ageing is a social issue involving the roles of women [C] demographic revolution will take place in two generations [D] people follow chronological rules to assume the roles of grandparents in 4-generation families 2. The following statements are true except ______. [A] ageing is a phenomenon pertaining to older persons [B] different cultures have different even contrast images of ageing [C] western media often convey more on the young people [D] policy-designers used to believe that their society was still a youthful one 3. With the new ageing policy, ______. [A] older people will become myths [B] ageing will be a drain on resources [C] ageing will be a panorama of near homogeneity [D] unnecessary dependencies will be prevented Questions 4--7 Answer the following questions by using NO MORE THAN four words from the passage. 4. What can change the social infrastructure? 5. What society shall we build toward in terms of demography? 6. How many people will be over 60 in the near future? 7. What should policy-makers keep in mind? Questions 8--10 Complete the following sentences with NO MORE THAN four words for each blank. 8. Ageing of the population permeates all ______ spheres. 9. Western media tend to depict older persons ______. 10. The core to understand the contribution of older citizens is ______. Part Ⅱ Exercise 1 Gapped text In the following article some paragraphs have been removed. For Questions 66-70, choose the most suitable paragraph from the list A-- F to fit into each of the numbered gaps. There is one paragraph which does not fit in any of the gaps. What Does Ageing Bring The press is constantly reminding us that the dramatic increase in the age of our population over the next 30 or so years will cause national healthcare systems to collapse, economies to crumple under the strain of pension demands and disintegrating families to buckle under increasing care commitments. Yet research at Oxford is beginning to expose some of the widespread myths that underlie this rhetoric. Demographic ageing is undoubtedly a reality. Life expectancy in developed countries has risen continuously over the past century, increasing the percentage of those over the age of 60 relative to those under the age of 15. By 2030 half the population of Western Europe will be over the age of 50, with a predicted average life expectancy of a further 40 years. By then, a quarter of the population will be over 65 and by 2050 the UK's current number of 10,000 centenarians are predicted to have reached a quarter of a million. 1. ______ Indeed, if this could be achieved throughout the world, it would surely count as the success of civilisation, for then we would also have conquered the killers of poverty, disease, famine and war. Decreasing mortality rates, increasing longevity and declining fertility mean smaller percentages of young people within populations. Over the past 20 years life expectancy at birth in the UK has risen by four years for men (to 75) and three years for women (to 80). Meanwhile fertility rates across Europe have declined more or less continuously over the past 40 years and remain well below the levels required for European populations to be able to replace themselves without substantive immigration. But again, rather than seeing this as a doom and gloom scenario, we need to explore the positive aspects of these demographics. The next 50 years should provide us with an opportunity to enjoy the many advantages of a society with a mature population structure. 2. ______ The first of these is the current political rhetoric, which claims that health services across the Western world are collapsing under the strain of demographic ageing. 3. ______ The second myth is the view that the ratio of workers to non- workers will become so acute that Western economies will collapse, compounded by a massive growth in pension debt. While there are undoubted concerns over current pension shortfalls, it is also clear that working lives will themselves change over the next few decades, with a predicted increase in flexible and part-time work and the probable extension of working life until the age of 70. Indeed, we have to recognise that we cannot expect to retire at the age of 50 and then be able to support ourselves for another 40 or so years. 4. ______ A further myth is that we will all live in loose, multigenerational families, experiencing increased emotional distancing from our kin. Evidence from a variety of studies across the developed world suggests that, if anything, the modern family is actually becoming more close-knit. Work carried out by the Oxford Institute shows that despite the influence of the welfare state, over the past 10 years, people have come to value family relationships more than previously. 5. ______ In the developed world, therefore, we can see actual benefits from population ageing: a better balance between age groups, mature and less volatile societies, with an emphasis on age integration. The issues will be very different in other parts of the world. Herein lies another myth: that the less developed world will escape from demographic ageing. Instead, the massive increase in the age of populations facing these countries -- predicted to be up to one billion older people within 30 years -- is potentially devastating. The problem is not only that demographic ageing is occurring at a far greater pace than we have seen in Western nations, but also that few if any developing countries have the economic development and infrastructure necessary to provide widespread public pensions and healthcare to these growing elderly populations. As a result, older people are among the poorest in every developing country. They have the lowest levels of income, education and literacy, they lack savings and assets, have only limited access to work, and even in times of crisis are usually the last to be cared for under emergency aid programs. Perhaps of most concern is healthcare, for as we conquer acute diseases, we are going to see a rapid increase in levels of chronic illness and disability, but no long-term care programs or facilities to tackle this. A Since it is likely that a longer active working life will coincide with a predicted labour shortage resulting from a lack of younger workers, we need to provide the opportunities and training to encourage older men and women to remain economically productive. Our studies show that there are benefits from having an age-integrated workforce. It is another myth that older workers are less productive than younger ones. In fact, the combined energy of younger workers with the experience of older ones can lead to increased productivity -- something from which young and old alike will benefit. B In 2001, in recognition of the significance of these demographic changes and the global challenges and opportunities that will accompany them, the Oxford Institute of Ageing was established at the University. It is made up of researchers in demography, sociology, economics, social anthropology, philosophy and psychology, with links to other specialists in medicine, biology, law and policy in research units across the University. This cross-disciplinary approach has made it possible to challenge some of the most pervasive myths about ageing societies. C As Institute healthcare ethicist Kenneth Howse points out, family obligations towards older relatives may change over the next 20 years, but current indications are that families are retaining a strong responsibility to care. Furthermore, as societies age, the contributory role of older people as grandparents becomes more important. Work by Institute researchers on another European Union study on multi-generational families has highlighted the role that grandparents play by freeing up the responsibilities of the younger reproductive population. D It is clear that the changing demographic landscape poses challenges for the future. The necessity now is to develop appropriate economic, social and political structures to take advantage of the opportunities that mature societies will bring, while ensuring that there are appropriate safety nets for those left vulnerable within these populations -- which will include both young and old alike.? E Rather than fearing such a future, however, we should see this trend as a great success. It must undoubtedly be a major achievement of civilisation that most individuals within a society can expect to enjoy a long and healthy lifespan. F George Leeson, a demographer at the Institute, points out that while a number of cross-national studies have considered the determinants of spiralling healthcare costs, only one has found the explanatory factor to be the proportion of the population aged 65 and over. Rather, it is growth in income, lifestyle characteristics and environmental factors such as technology and drugs that are driving up healthcare costs. In addition, the costs are shifting between population groups. The key here, he adds, is to develop sufficiently flexible health service structures to shift not only economic resources but also personnel. Exercise 2 Speaking For each of the following topics, you will have two minutes to prepare and then give a two-minute presentation. a. Should women be allowed to retire at the Retirement same age as their male counterparts? b. The increasing number of elderly Healthcare individuals will pose a challenge to our country's welfare system. What should the government do to handle it? c. Care Many young people are unable to take care of their parents so they send them to retirement homes. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this modern day phenomenon? Exercise 3 Writing You are expected to write at least 250 words about the following topic. Nowadays many elderly people don't need to worry about material things, However, they often feel lonely, depressed with a sense of being useless. What are your suggestions to help them? 四、阅读答案及详解 1．B。采用排除法。选项 A 混淆了过去和现在的变化，选项 C 与原文意思 相反，见第五段第一句话。选项 D 中的 more alternative 并没有让人们的购物 经历变得更好。正确 答案见第二段第一句话，The call of the mall, or the lure of material goods, dominates popular ideas about consumption and consumerism 人们通常认为购物中心及各种商品的吸引是消费主义的原因。 2．C。详见课文疑难详解 3。 3．C。采用排除法。利用人名 Dr. Frank Trentmann 做关键词定位信息， 答案见第七段…consumption is as much about services, experiences, and citizenship as it is about the acquisition of goods．选项 C 正是文章批 判的内容。 4．D。利用专有名词 BT's Big Button 定位信息在第九段，此例子是用来 说明消费者不仅能够为新产品创造新功能，还能发掘已有产品的使用。 5．aspirational consumerism。答案见第二段…become slaves to an aspirational consumerism, buying things we do not need…其中的 slaves 被题目中的 influenced 替换。 6．teenage consumers。见第八段 It was their teenage consumers who led the way by popularising texting and even inventing a new language for it. 强调句型。正是十几岁的年轻人普及了短信还专为此创造了一种新的 语言。 7．subvert。见第 12 段。 8．health care, legal advice, investment management。利用专有名词 The Cultures of Consumption Programme 定位，见第 13 段最后一句话，The services featured in this particular study are health care, legal advice and investment management. 五、课后练习答案与详解 Exercise 1 Use of English 1．worse。根据语法判断句子结构，通读上下文，大意为“各种设备越 多，问题就越严重”。 2．at。固定搭配 at one's disposal，意思是“由某人随意支配”。 3．poll/investigation。根据宾语从句中的数字、百分比确定答案。 4．saw/observed/found。根据句子结构判断此处应为及物动词的过去式， 句子意思为 1000 名受访者中 70%都认为手机使用者的礼仪比使用其他设备更 差。 5．according。固定搭配。 6．them。指代上文提到的手机。 7．off。根据意思判断应为看电影的时候关闭手机。 8．on。固定搭配，和谁在通电话用 on the phone 表示。 9．at。介词惯用法。 10．calls。根据语法此空应为可带双宾语的及物动词。 11．as/because/since/for。此处应为表示因果关系的连词。 12．aware。根据上下文大意以及前半句话中的 unconscious 可以推测出答 案。 13．where。句子结构为定语从句，先行词为 plane，train or bus，故选 择关系副词 where。 14．to。固定搭配 be subjected to，“遭遇，受到”的意思。against your will 是“违背你的意志”的意思，是插入语。 15．what。此空前面的 and 用来连接对等的成分，所以此空为 what 引导的 名词性从句。 16．takes/possesses/occupies。此句话意为“在公众场合打手机实际上 是占用了共有空间，并隔离成小的私人空间”。 17．divide/separate。 18．were。根据时间状语 a short time ago 确定时态，句子结构为被动语 态。 19．comply/agree/follow。大意为以前如果你礼貌地请手机使用者们在公 共场合放低声音，他们一般都会听从。Chagrin 是“懊恼”的意思。 20．normal/acceptable。这句话和上句话形成了对比，现在更多人的反应 是为什么你不理解大声讲手机电话足正常的事。 Exercise 2 Multiple Matching 1．C。Paragraph 7: The problem for the critics, as Moore sees them, stem from the tastes of consumer. Moore 认为消费者的品味造成了 评酒师的问题。下面几句话解释了在英国，人们不如美国、法国和意大利人那 么热爱红酒，这也影响了他们的阅读习惯。 2．D。Paragraph 9: Gluck was more forthright, "It is the person who takes no account of his or her readership and simply parades toffee-nosed views about how much you should spend, implying the more you spend, the better the value—which is absolute rubbish." Gluck 的 话更尖刻，“评酒师毫不关心读者，只是推荐你应该花多少钱去买酒，暗示你 花的钱越多，酒的价值越好，这完全是胡说八道。” 3．A。Paragraph 8: "There are undoubtedly one or two people at the top, " said Rose, "such as Robert Parker, Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson and Oz Clarke, who are making a reasonable living from wine because they're popular, they're good and they've successfully branded themselves…在评酒师中这些人收入不菲，因为他们已经成名而且成 功的包装了他们自己。 4．B。Paragraph 4: …he hadn't had any hesitation in panning a recent book published by a colleague, despite the potential awkwardness. 尽管可能会尴尬，他毫不犹豫地批评了刚出版的一本同行写的 书。下一句话是 Malcolm Gluck agreed wholeheartedly, even deriding his colleagues who form part of a special wine literary circle Malcolm Gluck 完全同意他的说法，还嘲笑了那些组成一个特别的酒俱乐部的同行。 5．D。Paragraph 4: …he hadn't had any hesitation in panning a recent book published by a colleague, despite the potential awkwardness. 尽管可能会尴尬，他毫不犹豫地批评了刚出版的一本同行写的 书。下一句话是 Malcolm Gluck agreed wholeheartedly, even deriding his colleagues who form part of a special wine literary circle Malcolm Gluck 完全同意他的说法，还嘲笑了那些组成一个特别的酒俱乐部的同行。 6．B。Paragraph 4: Rose, however, felt that integrity ultimately wins out… 7．C。Paragraph 7: …Moore confirms that the USA is now a much more important market than the domestic UK market. Even worse, he didn't feel that the UK market is well served. 他认为美国市场远比英国 本土市场重要，问题的严重性在于，他认为英国市场发展不良。下句话揭示了 原因：市场上可选择的品牌太少。 8．D。Paragraph 11: I believe that wine critics will eventually write themselves out of existence.他认为消费者会越来越有主见，而评酒 师们的职业最终将消失。 9．A。Paragraph 5: She confirmed, though, that her newspaper editors have never put any pressure on her to write about any specific wines. She 指代前一句话中的 Robinson。她声称她的编辑从来没有 强迫她写某些评论。 10．B。Paragraph 3: "Wine tasting is an inadequate science. It requires…and then a form in which you can communicate this to the reader. Exercise 3 Speaking Topic: Factors influencing your choices of consumption Tips, Words and Expressions Necessity: only go shopping when I really need to buy stuff/basic needs / grocery shopping Advertisement: Advertisements, direct or indirect, are so pervasive that you cannot escape from it. / One tends to choose familiar brands when he does not have particular preference. Friends' suggestion: A referral often impresses us as more trustworthy. / first hand information Peer pressure: There are people who would have panic if they are different from their friends. So they choose to follow" the others. Habit: loyalty to a brand / childhood memory/just got used to it and would not bother to change into another brand. Brand: guaranteed quality / capture the attention / feel good / proud / pretentious Celebrity: Young people would do whatever crazy things for their idol. So they will buy the products endorsed by them. / copy the celebrity by choosing the same brands Exercise 4 Writing Topic: How do people make consumer choices and what will be the impact of online shopping? Tips, Words and Expressions The pros more convenience / You can do it 24 / 7. / People can do shopping in the comfort of their own home with the help of the internet. / Prices are often lower online, you don't have to queue up in busy shops and you can buy almost any product imaginable with just a few clicks of your mouse. / Discount coupons are more readily available online. / Comparison shopping is simplified. / Online shopping is perfect for buying gifts that are to be sent to distant friends or relatives. / One can shop in private. There are times when privacy really matters for many people. / When you buy these items online, that embarrassment is minimized. The cons the security of entering their card details on the internet and the reliability of the internet / You can only see what will fit on one page at a time. / If you have a slow connection or if there are many shoppers at this site, shopping will take forever. / Errors in billing are more common online. / You cannot touch the item, let alone try it on. / Shipping and handling costs can be astronomical. / Packaging materials can take over your home (and our earth). / Dangerous for shopaholics. 四、阅读答案及详解 1．B。选项 A 与文章第二部分第一段 While this has been recognized for some time in developed countries, it is only recently that this phenomenon has been fully acknowledged 的内容不符，过去人们认为老龄化 只是发达国家的问题；选项 C 中的时间不对，见第二部分第二段…a demographic revolution…will be felt in just three generations。选项 D 与文章第三部分第三段意思不符。选项 A 见第一部分第二段末尾。 2．A。采用排除法，文章中一直强调的是老龄化问题不仅仅与老年人有 关，需要全社会的重视。 3．D。题干巾的关键词 new aging policy 提示我们到第三部分 Policy Consideration 中寻找答案，见此部分第二段 Policy interventions that include social and human, as well as economic investments, can prevent unnecessary dependencies from arising whether in late life for individuals or downstream in ageing societies 下文具体阐述了如何 帮助老年人更好的生活。 4．Upward shift in population/Ageing。见第三段，关键词为 infrastructure。 5．Society for all ages。见第五段，It is crucial that societies adjust to this human paradigm as record numbers of people live into very old age, if we are to move towards a society for all ages. 6．1/3 of the population。题目中的“60”可以做关键词定位原文中的 信息在第三部分第一段，…every third individual will be over the age of 60…。 7．An ageing society。答案见第三部分第一段，关键词为 policy- makers。 8．social, economic, cultural。见第二部分最后一段。 9．in stereotypes。关键词 western media，答案见第二部分第二段。 10．recognition of the uniqueness。见最后一段。 五、课后练习答案与详解 Exercise 1 Gapped Text 1．E。第一段中的关键词 yet 提示我们作者的观点。开篇即是说媒体如何 渲染老龄化将引发的种种社会问题，但是牛津大学的研究揭开了问题的另一 面。在题目上方的数字是用以说明老龄化的趋势，题目后的第一句话就说如果 这件事情(this)能成功的话，可以看作是文明的胜利。只有题目 E 中提到了思 维的转变，即不应对此感到恐惧，而应该看成是社会的进步。 2．B。这里有两个提示，一是在本题目的上文中作者列举了各种数据以说 明人口预期寿命延长、人口结构稳定等未来社会将面临的变化，与 B 选项中第 一句话的 in recognition of the significance of these demographic changes…相呼应。选项 B 中提到牛津大学老龄化问题研究中心所做的研究对普 遍流行的一些观点提出了挑战，与下文中的 the first, the second…的列举 结构相符合。 3．F。这一部分的结构是典型的列举清单，题目上一段提到了 health care，题目下一段以 the second 开头，所以缺少的这一段落应该是围绕医疗问 题的。 4．A。原因同上，作者列举的第二点为老龄化对劳动力市场的影响。 5．C。根据题目上一段提到老龄化问题对家庭的影响，这一段应该仍然是 围绕老年人与家庭的关系。 Exercise 2 Speaking Topic 1: Retirement Tips, Words and Expressions A breakthrough needs to be made on retirement age to better realize equality between men and women. / The negative growth of working population will become worse, which suggests a longer work time for women. / shorten the retirement age gap between male and female / the average life expectancy of Chinese people has risen by more than 20 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, while their retirement age remains no change for more than 50 years. According to law in China, a man retires at 60, and women workers at 50. In the 1950s, women had to take care of more children than now on average. Playing an important role in family life, women were permitted to retire five years earlier than men at that time. But situation has changed greatly nowadays. Women are freed from the household chore and they have the capacity of working and earning to support their family. / Women outlive men by 3 years on average. Topic 2: Healthcare Tips, Words and Expressions Make great effort to develop residential care system / build more nursing home places at community level / Appropriate agencies, such as governments and private health insurers, need to provide sufficient funding to support the level of professional care required. / promote individual responsibility for health Topic 3: Care Tips, Words and Expressions The pros "sandwich generation" -- they have to support their parents as well as raise their children, at the same time they are expected to work hard to advance their career. / Most city-dwellers are double- income families due to the increasing life expenditure in urban cities. It is highly unlikely for them to quit their work and take care of their elderly parents at home. / Older people can find others with common ideas and hobbies in nursing home / improved condition of retirement homes The cons sense of being abandoned by their families / causing mental problems / conventional idea / feel awkward to face relatives and friends Exercise 3 Writing Topic: What are your suggestions to help elderly people to cure their mental health? Tips, Words and Expressions Physical activity is good for older people's mental health. / Depression is much more common in the years after retirement, when people may struggle to adjust to a new role and routine in life. / Dealing with social isolation is another important part of treating depression. The health benefits of being part of a family or tight community are well known. / try to stay active, keep your brain alive / Learn something new. "Lifelong learning keeps the mind and spirit alive." / Retirement can be an opportunity to pursue unfulfilled plans and learn new skills. / Many older people say that volunteering helps them to maintain good mental health and well-being in later life. "The best cure for the blues is activity. Do something -- preferably for someone else."
Pages to are hidden for
"Passage"Please download to view full document