An opinion poll was conducted in the early 1990’s to ascertain the cultural attitudes of residents of five countries in Western Europe (Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Germany). One thousand people, forming a representative sample of the adult population, from each of the five participating countries were interviewed. The results of the poll suggest that though there is general agreement that culture can be defined as a distinct part of life, there are clear differences in the views of various European nations.
The poll assumed that literature, history, science, the arts, law, economics and so on would be regarded as significant components of culture by all participants but it set out to examine the areas which they deemed the most important forms of cultural expression. In addition, the poll required interviewees to indicate in a questionnaire the type of education they considered most appropriate for the modem world, the best channels of knowledge and the arts they most valued. The interviewees were also asked which European countries they found most attractive from a cultural point of view.
The results of the poll show interesting differences between the participating nations in terms of which components of culture they regard as most important forms of cultural expression. For the French and Italians, literature comes well at the top of the list. In contrast, mathematics is given priority by the British and economics/politics by the Germans. History occupies second place for the French, the Italians and Germans but is given very low priority by the British. For the Spanish these four areas are more or less equal, with mathematics having a slight edge.
It seems that members of each country in the survey have a common definition of culture but that definition varies from country to country. The variations tend to support the national stereotypes we have of one another. The French and Italians are literary peoples, the British scientific and the Germans practical and hard-working.
France has the distinction, according to the results of the poll, of being the country which provokes most interest from its British, Italian and German neighbors. Spanish interviewees indicated more interest in Italy than in France. The French also placed Italy first. Italy occupies second place for both the British and the Germans. It would seem, then, that the "literary" nations of France and Italy are more culturally exciting than the scientific British or the practical Germans!
The view of education in the five countries is particularly illuminating in view of the high cultural priority given to literature by both Italy and France because there is general agreement among the majority of the 5,000 interviewees that schooling should provide scientific and technical education rather than attempt to inculcate literary and artistic culture.
The residents of the five countries of the survey share the view that books are the best way of broadening knowledge. The French, Germans, and Italians identify radio and television as the second best means of improving knowledge but for the British and Spanish travel is in second place and conversation and discussion in third place. The poll confirms that, though there are broad similarities among the nations surveyed, the British, French,Italians, Spanish and Germans do not share identical cultural preferences and classifications. There are, it would seem, specific national characteristics.
62. What is the passage mainly about?
[A] It is about people’s preference in spare time.
[B] It is about a poll interviewing people’s cultural attitudes.
[C] It is about a poll investigating people’s view toward their neighboring countries.
[D] It is about editorial criticizing cultures in different countries.
63. Which of the following is NOT included in the questions directed to the interviewees?
[A] Do you think literature, history, science, the arts, law, economics and so on should be regarded as significant components of culture?
[B] What kind of education is most appropriate for the modem world?
[C] What are the best channels of knowledge and the arts you most value?
[D] Which European countries are most attractive from a cultural point of view?
64. Which of the following statements about "the most important forms of cultural expression" is NOT correct?
[A] The French and Italians consider literature more important than other forms of cultural expression.
[B] Mathematics is considered most important by the British and the Germans.
[C] In the eyes of the French, the Italians and Germans, history is more important than that in the eyes of the British.
[D] For the Spanish, mathematics is somewhat more important than literature, history and economics/ politics.
65. Which country are British, Italian, Spanish and German interviewees most interested in?
[A] France. [B] Italy. [C] They do not share interests. [D] Neither of the two mentioned above.
66. Which of the following is regarded as the best way of broadening knowledge by most people in this interview?
[A] Conversation. [B] Books. [C] Travel. [D] Radio and television.
62. B 63. A 64. B 65. C 66. B