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新视野大学英语读写教程第二册 unit8-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

What Youngsters Expect in Life

Back in the good old days of stable economic expansion — the 1950s and 1960s — a person could choose to do something new, exciting, and creative in life but could also choose to say, "That's not for me: I am going to play it safe in life. I am going to stay in my home town and have a nice comfortable career in a salaried job." That second choice no longer exists for the vast majority of Americans. All of us are going to be creators and pioneers over the next 10 years whether we like it or not, and many of us don't like it.

Just look at what the attitude surveys tell us. In the United States, three-quarters of the adults surveyed by the Harris poll and two-thirds of all high-school seniors surveyed by Scholastic magazine say they believe that the United States will be a worse place 10 years from now than it is today. No wonder young people are disaffected. No wonder they are not motivated to learn. They think the world in which they are going to spend their lives won't be a very satisfactory place.

Young men, in particular, are not happy with their prospects for the future. When surveyors ask U.S. female high-school students what they are going to do when they graduate, they list all kinds of roles they want to fill, like doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, civil servants, police and firemen, and fighter pilots. In short, they want to do all the things that men have always done. Moreover, less than 10% of female high-school seniors expect to spend their adult lives solely as mothers and domestic managers, while nearly 90% are committed to having both a career and a marriage based on equality.

By comparison, nearly half of male high-school students express their preference for a traditional, male-headed, one provider, nuclear family, where the wife stays home as mother and housewife. And when male high-school students are asked what kinds of careers they would like to have, the only two job fields that consistently receive large numbers of responses in open surveys are "professional athlete" and "media personality". A large proportion of America's young men — one third or more — simply say they don't know what they're going to do as adults.

If these people do not acquire some constructive vision of purpose for themselves, they are likely to be very destructive forces of resistance in society throughout their lives. We already see that. One recent estimate is that one-sixth of all fourteen-to twenty-four-year-olds in America — mostly males — are currently "disaffected and disconnected". They are not associated with any formal role in society, nor are they in any formal relationship with another person. These are the folks who are joining the gangs in inner cities and swelling the ranks of the rural military gangs. They see no roles for themselves in an Information Age society, and they are angry about their empty future.

So this is a very pregnant moment, not only for the future of America, but also for all of the mature industrial economies and, ultimately, for the world at large. It is an uncertain moment, a scary moment. It is the kind of moment in history when, to summarize in the words of Alfred North Whitehead, familiar patterns fade, familiar solutions fail, and familiar options disappear. Of course, the books and periodicals that are warning society about the removal of jobs, "the end of work", and wage decreases only serve to increase public anxiety — a slow-motion variation of shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

These alarming forecasts are largely simple projections of the past two or three decades of workplace trends. However, in the absence of plausible alternative explanations for the gloomy economic news of the past 15 — 20 years and the gloomier prospects implicit in the projections of those trends, industrial societies — fearful for the future — might very well take backward steps. These steps will principally serve the interests of the economically dominant groups who want to protect their assets and resources from the forces of change. Nations that take such steps will lose balance. Social and economic progress will grind to a halt and more and more jobs will be eliminated by the negative side of this transformation. The anger and frustration displayed by people who do not understand what is happening to them will be a terrible and dangerous force in all the major industrial economies.

NEW WORDS

expansion
n. [U] action of expanding; state of being expanded 扩大,扩张,膨胀

scholar
n. 1. [C] a person who studies a subject deeply 学者
2. [C] a student who has been awarded money after a competitive exam, etc. 获奖学金的学生

scholastic
a. relating to school and education 学校的,学院的,学术上的

motivate
vt. 1. cause to want to do sth. 激起(兴趣),激发(行动)
2. be the reason for (sb.'s action); cause (sb.) to act in a particular way 作为(……行为的)动机;激励

prospect
n. 1. (pl.) chance of success 前景,前程,前途
2. [C, U] possibility or strong chance of sth. happening 前景,可能性

accountant
n. [C] sb. who keeps or examines the records of money received, paid, etc. by a company or person 会计师,会计

civil
a. 1. of or relating to ordinary people rather than the armed forces or the Church 平民的(与军队、教会无关的);文职的
2. within the country 国内的

fireman
n. [C] a person whose job is putting out fires 消防队员

equality
n. [U] state of being equal 平等,同等,均等

comparison
n. 1. [U] the act of comparing 比较;对照
2. [C] a statement of the points of similarity and difference between two things 经比较得出的结论

preference
n. 1. [U] (sing.) liking for sth. (more than sth. else) 较喜欢,宁愿,偏爱
2. [C] a thing that is liked better or best 喜爱物,偏爱物

housewife
n. [C] a woman whose work is inside the home, cleaning, cooking, etc., and who usually does not have any other job 家庭主妇,家庭妇女

athlete
n. [C] a person who trains to compete in physical exercises and sports 运动员

proportion
n. 1. [C] a comparative part or share of a whole 部分,份
2. [U] relation of one thing to another in quantity, size, etc. 比例,比率

construct
vt. build (sth.); put or fit together; form 建造,构筑;构成;形成

constructive
a. having a useful purpose; helpful 建设性的,积极的,有益的

vision
n. 1. [C] an imagined mental image of sth., often including one's goal or dream 想像,构想,设想
2. [U] power of seeing; sight 视力,视觉

gang
n. 1. [C] a group of criminals; a group of usu. young men who cause trouble 一群罪犯;一伙,一帮
2. a group of friends, esp. teenagers 结伴的朋友(尤指少男少女)
vi. (up) unite as a group against sb. 结成一伙,联合起来

swell
v. 1. (cause to) become greater (使)变强,(使)增加,(使)提高
2. (cause sth. to) become larger (使)增大,(使)膨胀,(使)肿起

rank
n. 1. (usu. the ~s or the ~ and file) ordinary members of an organization, esp. of the armed forces 普通成员,普通士兵
2. [C, U] position higher or lower than others', showing the importance or the degree of responsibility of the person having it; (high) social class 地位,级别;(高)社会阶层
3. [C] a row, esp. of people or things standing side by side 行,列,排

industrial
a. having highly developed industries 工业高度发达的

periodical
n. [C] a magazine or newspaper that is published regularly 期刊,杂志
a. happening repeatedly over a period of time 周期的,周期性的

variation
n. 1. [C] sth. that is presented in a slightly different form 变异, 变化
2. [C, U] change in amount or level 变化(量),变动(程度)

forecast
n. [C] a statement that predicts sth. with the help of information 预测,预报
vt. predict with the help of information 预言,预测,预报

absence
n. 1. [U] lack; non-existence 缺乏;不存在
2. [C, U] the state or a period of being away 缺席,不在,离开

plausible
a. (of a statement, an excuse, etc.) seeming to be right or reasonable (陈述、借口)似真实的,似乎有理的,似乎可信的

gloomy
a. 1. (that makes people) sad and disappointed 令人沮丧的,令人忧郁的
2. dark or unlighted 昏暗的,阴暗的,阴沉的

implicit
a. 1. understood without being directly expressed, clearly intended even though it is not said 暗示的,含蓄的,不明晰的
2. unnecessary to be questioned 深信不疑的,绝对的

fearful
a. 1. nervous and afraid 惧怕的,担心的
2. terrible, causing fear 可怕的,吓人的

backward
a. 1. directed towards the back or the starting point 向后的,倒着的
2. having made or making less than normal progress 进步迟缓的,落后的

principal
a. first in rank or importance; main 重要的,首要的,主要的
n. [C] the head in an organization, esp. in certain schools and colleges (学校或机构主管人的称谓)校长,院长

principally
ad. for the most part 大多,主要地

economic
a. connected with trade, industry, and the management of money; of economics 经济(上)的;经济学的

economically
ad. 1. concerning economics or economy 在经济(学)上
2. not wastefully 节约地,俭省地,经济地

dominant
a. more important, strong, noticeable, etc. than anything else of the same type 最重要的,占统治地位的,支配的

asset
n. 1. (pl.) thing, esp. property, owned by a person, company, etc. that has value and can be used or sold 财产,资产
2. [C] a valuable or useful quality, skill or person 有价值的特性(技能,人才)

grind
vi. make a harsh noise 发出摩擦的声音
vt. make sth. into small pieces, grain or dust by pressing between hard surfaces 磨碎,碾碎,磨成粉末

eliminate
vt. remove or take away 排除,消除,根除

display
vt. 1. show signs of having (a quality or emotion, etc.) 显露,表现出(一种品质或情感)
2. put sth. on show 陈列,展览

PHRASES AND EXPRESSIONS

the good old days
an earlier period of time (in one's life or in history) seen as better than the present 过去的好时光

play (it) safe
carefully avoid risks 稳扎稳打,小心行事

whether or not
(used to introduce two possibilities) 是否,无论是不是,不管

no wonder
it is not surprising 不令人吃惊,难怪

be happy with
feel or express pleasure, satisfaction, etc. 对……感到满意,对……感到愉快

civil servant
a person employed in the civil service 文职人员,公务员

in short
in a few words; briefly 总之,简言之

by comparison
when compared 比较起来

associate with
join (people or things) together 联合,联系

inner city
oldest parts of a city, at or near its center 市中心区,老城区,内城

at large
as a whole; in general 全部,整个

protect sb./sth. from sth.
keep sb./sth. safe from harm, hurt, etc.; defend sb./sth. 防御,保护

grind to a halt
(of a process) gradually stop (指过程)慢慢停止

PROPER NAMES

Harris
哈里斯

Alfred North Whitehead
阿尔弗雷德·诺斯·怀特海德





 

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