a sentence from the SAT(It is a view of citizenship that...)

jakartaman

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, below is part of a paragraph extracted from the SAT Practice Test #6

Despite the rhetorical bluster of these statements, they amount to more than straightforward
professional defensiveness. In their reference to an audience “which used to know its place” and
conflation between democratisation and “dumbing down,” they are seeking to argue for a particular
mode of public knowledge: one which is shaped by experts, immune from populist pressures; and
disseminated to attentive, but mainly passive recipients. It is a view of citizenship that closes down
opportunities for popular involvement in the making of public knowledge by reinforcing the professional
claims of experts.
The journalists quoted above are right to feel uneasy, for there is, at almost every
institutional level in contemporary society, scepticism towards the epistemological authority of
expert elites.

I don't understand the sentence in bold. What is "a view of citizenship"? Is it "a view of the citizens (or the public)?
Why does it "close down opportunities for popular involvement in the making of public knowledge by reinforcing the professional claims of experts"?
I think it tries to say...
Citizens have a view that the established journalists want to close down opportunities for popular involvement in the making of public knowledge
by reinforcing the professional claims of experts.
But the construction of the sentence makes me scratch my head.
Please help. Thank you!
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    What is "a view of citizenship"?
    It is an idea of citizenship. It is someone's opinion about what citizenship should be like and how good citizens should behave. The idea of citizenship discussed in the paragraph tells you that citizens should be passive, they should listen to experts and should not be involved in the making of of public knowledge, whatever that might mean.
     

    jakartaman

    Senior Member
    Korean
    So you mean the subject of the sentence "it" refers to "the particular mode of public knowledge" in the preceding sentence.
    I think you are right!
    The construction of the sentence caused me to think that "it" is a dummy subject and "a view of citizenship" is emphasized.
    I guess I was wrong.
    Thank you!
     

    pachanga7

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Actually “it” refers to the underlying attitude and argument of whatever came before this passage you’ve provided that the passage is attempting to characterize and deconstruct. That the bits in quotes come from. It’s the “more than...professional [bluster].”

    I’m a bit surprised that the passage refers to the holders of this opinion as “journalists” because that term is not synonymous with expert elites. Apparently the journalists in question are taking sides with the expert elites.
     

    pachanga7

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It is an idea of citizenship. It is someone's opinion about what citizenship should be like and how good citizens should behave. The idea of citizenship discussed in the paragraph tells you that citizens should be passive, they should listen to experts and should not be involved in the making of of public knowledge, whatever that might mean.
    This from grassy is also correct.
     
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