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历年考研英语阅读理解2006年01

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http://online2.tingclass.net/lesson/shi0529/0008/8686/A_2006_1.mp3
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[00:06.07]2006 Text1

[00:11.21]In spite of "endless talk of difference,"

[00:14.54]American society is an amazing machine

[00:17.56]for homogenizing people.

[00:20.18]There is "the democratizing uniformity of dress

[00:23.72]and discourse,

[00:25.16]and the casualness and absence of deference"

[00:28.28]characteristic of popular culture.

[00:31.60]People are absorbed into "a culture of consumption"

[00:35.31]launched by the 19th-century department stores

[00:38.63]that offered "vast arrays of goods in an elegant atmosphere.

[00:43.48]Instead of intimate shops catering to a knowledgeable elite"

[00:47.81]these were stores "anyone could enter,

[00:50.59]regardless of class or background.

[00:54.34]This turned shopping into a public and democratic act."

[00:59.17]The mass media, advertising and sports are

[01:02.40]other forces for homogenization.

[01:05.33]Immigrants are quickly fitting into this common culture,

[01:08.88]which may not be altogether elevating

[01:11.89]but is hardly poisonous.

[01:14.73]Writing for the National Immigration Forum,

[01:17.44]Gregory Rodriguez reports that today's immigration is

[01:21.29]neither at unprecedented level

[01:23.51]nor resistant to assimilation.

[01:26.74]In 1998 immigrants were 9.8 percent of population;

[01:32.42]in 1900, 13.6 percent.

[01:36.63]In the 10 years prior to 1990,

[01:39.75]3.1 immigrants arrived for every 1,000 residents;

[01:44.69]in the 10 years prior to 1890,

[01:47.81]9.2 for every 1,000.

[01:51.45]Now, consider three indices of assimilation--

[01:55.46]language, home ownership and intermarriage.

[02:00.01]The 1990 Census revealed

[02:02.83]that "a majority of immigrants

[02:04.24]from each of the fifteen most common countries of

[02:06.98]origin spoke English 'well' or 'very well'

[02:10.50]after ten years of residence."

[02:13.42]The children of immigrants tend to be bilingual

[02:16.66]and proficient in English.

[02:19.18]"By the third generation,

[02:20.80]the original language is lost

[02:22.70]in the majority of immigrant families."

[02:26.34]Hence the description of America as a "graveyard" for languages.

[02:31.17]By 1996 foreign-born immigrants

[02:34.60]who had arrived before 1970

[02:37.23]had a home ownership rate of 75.6 percent,

[02:41.56]higher than the 69.8 percent rate

[02:44.69]among native-born Americans.

[02:47.52]Foreign-born Asians and Hispanics

[02:50.05]"have higher rates of intermarriage

[02:51.90]than do U.S.-born whites and blacks."

[02:55.93]By the third generation,

[02:57.95]one third of Hispanic women are married to non-Hispanics,

[03:02.10]and 41 percent of Asian-American women

[03:04.90]are married to non-Asians.

[03:07.53]Rodriguez notes that children in remote villages

[03:10.44]around the world

[03:11.65]are fans of superstars like Arnold Schwarzenegger

[03:15.00]and Garth Brooks,

[03:17.22]yet "some Americans fear

[03:19.12]that immigrant living within the United States

[03:21.43]remain somehow immune to the nation's assimilative power."

[03:27.04]Are there divisive issues and pockets of seething

[03:29.95]anger in America? Indeed.

[03:32.87]It is big enough to have a bit of everything.

[03:35.40]But particularly when viewed against America's turbulent past,

[03:39.73]today's social indices hardly suggest a dark

[03:43.09]and deteriorating social environment.

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