新视野大学英语读写教程第二册 unit6-b

《新视野大学英语》是国务院批准的教育部“面向21世纪振兴行动计划”的重点工程“新世纪网络课程建设工程”项目系列教材之一。 由国家级名师上海交通大学郑树棠教授担任总策划和教材总主编,清华大学、上海交通大学和东北大学等全国十余所大学几十名资深教授和中青年骨干教师共同设计、编写和制作的教育部普通高等教育“十五”国家级规划教材,教育部大学英语推荐教材。

Section B

Judge by Appearances

A standard criticism of sociological research is that it goes to great lengths to prove what most people with common sense already know. Without exactly taking sides for or against that criticism, I want to describe a sociological exercise that might seem to validate it — except that, for me and a classmate (and maybe for some who read this account), the experience made a common claim come alive.

During spring break from a local college, my friend and I went downtown to shop. First, however, we made ourselves virtually unrecognizable to our friends and even to our families. We wore clothing slightly inappropriate for the weather, clean but not ironed, clearly not the styles worn by most visitors to the area. We carried plastic bags of nameless possessions. Both of us were slightly untidy. My friend wore a faded cotton shirt over a T-shirt and a wrinkled skirt over sweat pants. I wore a wool hat that concealed my hair and an unfashionable coat and glasses with sun shades that clipped on.

The aim was to look like street people and to observe what difference that made in the way other people responded to us — whether the appearance of poverty would invite prejudice on us. We were also prepared to act out some mildly unusual behavior that might speak of some emotional problems, without appearing seriously disturbed or dangerous. As it turned out, there was no need for dramatics; people turned us off or tuned us out on the basis of appearance alone.

Our first stop (after parking our cars near the railroad tracks) was in the bargain store of a local charity, where we politely asked access to a bathroom and were refused. Next we entered the lobby of a large hotel, where we asked for a coffee shop and a bathroom. The door man said, "You must go to the twentieth floor." We weren't up to trying our act at an exclusive restaurant, so we wandered around the first floor and left. From there we went to a second-hand shop, where we more or less blended with the customers, and then on to the upper-scale stores and coffee shops during the lunch hour.

It was prejudice time. Some of the children we encountered stared, pointed, and laughed; adults gave us long, doubting looks. Clerks in stores followed our track to watch our every move. In a lunchroom a second assistant hurried to the side of the cashier, where they took my $2 check without asking for ID; it seemed worth that price to have us out the door. At one doorway a clerk physically blocked the entrance apparently to discourage our entry.

We had money to cover small purchases, and, apart from wearing down-scale clothing, we did nothing in any of these settings to draw attention to ourselves; we merely shopped quietly in our accustomed manner. At one establishment we did blow our cover when we ordered French rolls with two special coffees; that may have been too far out of character for "bag ladies". Elsewhere we encountered ribbing, imitating, lack of trust, and rude stares.
So what did we learn? Mostly what we expected, what everybody knows: people judge by appearances. Just looking poor brings with it prejudice, accompanied by removal of much of the social grace most of us take for granted. Lacking the culturally acceptable symbols of belonging in this setting, we became, to a degree, objects, with less inherent dignity as persons.

There was, however, one surprise — more accurately, a shock. It became clear most strongly at the shop I mentioned earlier, the one where a clerk conspicuously positioned herself in the entrance on seeing us. I had just noticed the place and had turned to my companion, saying, "I've never seen this store. Let's go in." She looked at me with alarm: "You're not really going there, are you?"

I knew what she meant and shared her feeling. The place felt out of bounds for us. In a very few hours, we found ourselves accepting and internalizing the superficial and prejudiced judgments of ourselves that prevailed among the people we met; we catalogued ourselves. Undoubtedly, it's a good lesson to learn, maybe especially for sociologists.


n. [U] scientific study of the nature and development of society 社会学

a. of sociology 社会学的,有关社会学的

n. [C] a student or expert in sociology 研究社会学的人,社会学家

a. 1. (of views or reasons, etc.) well based (指证明、理由)有充分根据的,合情合理的,健全的
2. lawfully effective 有效的,具有法律效力的

vt. make sth. well based 证实

ad. in every important respect; almost 实际上,事实上,实质上;几乎

a. arranged in order 整洁的,整齐的
v. make sb./sth./oneself tidy (使)整洁,(使)整齐

a. not tidy 不整洁的,邋遢的,凌乱的,混乱的

v. (cause sth.) to form small lines (使)起皱纹
n. [C] a small line in the skin, esp. one of those on the face that are caused by age 皱纹

n. [U] natural liquid which comes through the skin when one is hot, ill, afraid, working hard, etc. 汗
vi. produce sweat, when hot, ill, afraid, or working hard 出汗,流汗

n. 1. (pl.) 长裤,(宽松的)便裤
2. 内裤

n. 1. [U] fine soft hair that forms the coats of sheep and goats 羊毛
2. [U] thread or cloth made from this 毛线,毛料

vt. keep sth./sb. from being seen or known about; hide sth./sb. 隐藏,隐蔽,隐瞒

vt. 1. hold sth. together with devices 别在……上,夹住
2. cut sth. with scissors or some sharp tool to make it tidier 剪短,修剪
n. [C] a small metal or plastic object used for tying things together or holding them in position 夹子,别针

n. [U] state of being poor 贫穷,贫困

a. 1. not deeply felt or seriously intended 轻微的,不严重的
2. (of a person or his manner) gentle; soft (指人或其举止)温和的,温柔的,和善的

ad. 1. slightly, not deeply or seriously 轻微地
2. in a gentle manner 温和地

a. 1. of the strong feelings of any kind 情感的,情绪的,感情的
2. causing or showing strong feelings 引发或表现强烈感情的

n. [C] railway 铁路

n. 1. [C] a society or organization for helping people 慈善机构
2. [U] (generosity in) giving money, food, help, etc. to the people who are in need; help given in this way (慷慨)施舍;捐助,救济款

a. 1. (of a high-class shop, goods sold in it, etc.) not found elsewhere; reserved for the rich 奢华的,高级的
2. limited to only one person or group of people 专一的,惟一的,独用的
n. [C] a story which is printed in one newspaper or magazine and no others 独家新闻,独家专文

vi. 1. move around in an area or go from place to place without any special purpose 漫游,漫步,闲逛
2. (of a person or an animal) leave the right place or way(指人或动物)离群,迷失方向

v. mix or combine together (使)混和,(使)混杂,(使)交融
n. [C] a combination of different kinds 混合物

n. 1. [C] a method of dividing people based on how big, important, rich, etc. they are 等级,级别
2. [U, C] relative size, extent, etc. 规模,大小

a. high-class 上流的,高档的

a. low-class 下等的,低档的

n. [U] identification, way of proving who one is; official papers that do this 身份证明,证明身份的证件

n. [U] the act of proving or showing the identity of sb. or sth. 鉴定,验明,认出

vt. 1. try to stop; persuade sb. not to do sth. 设法阻止,劝阻
2. make sb. feel less confident or less willing to do sth. 使泄气,使不想干

n. 1. [C] the act of coming or going in 进入,入场
2. [C] a person or thing taking part in a race or competition 参加比赛的人或物

vt. make fun of (sb.) in a friendly way 开玩笑,取笑

vt. 1. copy the speech, actions, dress, etc. of sb.; take or follow as an example 模仿,效仿
2. produce a copy of the real thing 仿制,仿造

a. 1. (of a person or his manner) showing no respect; impolite (指人或其行为)无礼的,不礼貌的,粗野的
2. simple or simply made 简陋的,欠加工的

vt. 1. happen with sth. 伴随,和……一起发生
2. walk or travel with sb. 伴随,陪伴,陪同

n. 1. (pl.) pleasing act or manner 风度
2. [U] quality of simple elegant beauty (esp. in smoothly controlled movement) 优美,优雅
vt. give honor to sb./sth. 给……增光

n. 1. [C] an object that represents sth. because it is connected with it in a lot of people's minds 代表物,象征物
2. [C] an image, object, etc. that suggests or refers to sth. else 象征,标志
3. [C] a mark or sign with a particular meaning 记号,符号

a. existing as a natural or born quality of sb./sth. 固有的,与生俱来的

n. 1. [U] calm or serious manner or style 尊严,端庄
2. [U] the sense that you have of your own importance and value 自尊感,自我价值感

a. exactly correct 确切的,精确的

ad. exactly, correctly 精确地,准确地

a. easily seen; noticeable 显而易见的,引人注目的,显著的

ad. noticeably 显著地,显眼地

n. 1. (usu. pl.) limits 边界,界限,边区
2. [C] a quick large jump 跳跃,跳跃向前
a. certain, very likely 一定……,必定……
vi. jump or run with jumping movements 跳,跃

a. 1. of or on the inside 内部的,在内部的
2. of political, economic, etc. affairs within a country, rather than abroad 国内的,内政的
3. of the mind 内心的

vt. accept as your own, so that it becomes a natural and important part of your character 使内在化

a. 1. not deep 肤浅的,浅薄的
2. of or on the surface only 表面的,表面上的

vi. 1. exist or happen generally 盛行,流行
2. fight successfully (against sb./sth.) 获胜,战胜,胜(过)

catalogue (catalog)
vt. list (sth./sb.) in a special order 把……编入目录,为……编目录
n. [C] (book having a) complete list of items, usu. in a special order and with a description of each 目录
ad. without doubt 确实地,无疑地


go to great lengths to do
make a great deal of effort to do 竭尽全力去做

be inappropriate for
not suitable for; not right and proper for 不适当的,不合适的

act sth. out
1. express (thoughts, unconscious fears, etc.) in actions and behavior rather than in words 实行,(把想法等)付诸行动
2. act a part, usu. in a real-life situation and for some purpose (通常在真实生活中为某种目的)表现,扮演

speak of sth.
suggest sth. 表明,暗示

turn out
prove to be; come to be known 证实是,原来是

turn sb. off
drive sb./sth. away (from a place) (从……)撵走,逐走(某人或某物)

tune out
ignore, stop listening or paying attention to 不理会, 不理睬

up to sth.
capable of sth. 能做,胜任

more or less
almost 几乎,差不多

follow one's track
be after sb./sth.跟着

apart from
except for 除开,撇开,除……以外

blow one's cover
reveal 泄露,暴露

out of character
not representative of a person's character 不合……个性的

turn to sb.
face sb. 转向(某人),扭向(某人)