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Complete Question Explanation
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=13642)

The correct answer choice is (D)

This question asks about the end of the second paragraph and the author’s reference to experts in dance. The author’s point is that previously, there had not been overlap between dance expertise and social science expertise, which was one of the reasons Dunham was able to become such a pioneer.

Answer choice (A): The author does not mention experts in dance to suggest why a group of scientists did not embrace the study of a particular cultural art form, but to explain that there was not much overlap between the two areas of expertise.

Answer choice (B): The author does not say that one group was more qualified to study a particular culture, but rather that experts in dance didn’t know much about social science, and that the social scientists didn’t know much about dance.

Answer choice (C): The mention of experts does not refer to a factor that led Dunham to pursue a new line of research—the lack of overlap in expertise made her a pioneer, but the experts were not a motivating factor, so this cannot be the right answer choice.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. As prephrased above, the author’s reference helps to explain why there had not been more research into this area previously.

Answer choice (E): The author does not say that there was a tension between the members of two fields of research, but merely that there was little overlap in expertise between the two groups.
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I am curious about the language and implications of the last sentence in paragraph 2.

In my opinion, Dunham was the only social scientist of that time that had enough training in dance to understand dance techniques, does the next clause imply she is an expert in dance or that there are other experts in dance that were not trained in the methods of social research, since the passage states Dunham is a social scientist, I am assuming she has a basic understanding of the methods of social research, and under that assumption, has some training in those methods.

The way I am understanding the explanation for the incorrect answer choice (C), specifically "the lack of overlap in expertise," perhaps my view of this last sentence of paragraph 2 is slightly misunderstood.

I would love some clarity on this, thank you.
 Jay Donnell
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Hey hey!

Dunham here is celebrated, as so many RC protagonists are, for helping to break traditional norms and provide previously unknown or unnoticed information.

The sentence beginning around line 19 ( I can't tell exact placement from my instructor database) says "Previously, dance had been neglected as an area of (20) social research, primarily because most social scientists gravitated toward areas likely to be recognized by their peers as befitting scientifically rigorous, and therefore legitimate, modes of inquiry."

This gives us insight into the fact that her area of study wasn't already thoroughly exhausted, and the LSAT does love an underdog story to help illuminate subjects that hadn't previously been considered 'important' enough to study, especially in regards to cultural/linguistic contributions.

I would normally say to be wary of using the word 'only' without explicit support sufficient to do so, but I think your first impression is well founded due to knowing that "no other social scientist at that time was sufficiently (25) trained in dance to be able to understand dance techniques." The point of that entire sentence, however, is to show the lack of overlap that caused a lack of proper research into dance, as dancers didn't have expertise in social research, and researchers didn't have sufficient expertise in dance.

Dunham serves as a synthesizing force, another very commonly positive role in RC, in that she can help bridge the gap between two previously unconnected groups. That reasoning offers great support for the correct answer of D, where I believe that C provides a jump that we can't quite clear. It's not that the fact that researcher's lack of expert dancing ability CAUSED Dunham to choose to study dance in this way, but rather that lack of previous researcher/dancer overlap explains the gap in our knowledge in this subject, a gap that Dunham would later go on to fill.

Hope that helps!
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Hey Jay,

Yes, thank you!

There was a lapse in dance experts/researcher's of that period, and she more or less combined those elements in a successful manner, "bridge the gap" as you eloquently put it!

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