Author's argumentation in text 2

Part 2 of your exam questions asks you to present the way Stephanie Coontz argues for her views in text 2, giving examples from the article.

Text 2 is titled “The Myth of Male Decline” and is an article that was published in The New York Times in 2012.

Main arguments

The author argues that masculinity in crisis or, as she puts it, “the male decline”, is a myth and that women are still behind men in terms of income, type of education and top management positions: “How is it, then, that men still control the most important industries, especially technology, occupy most of the positions on the lists of the richest Americans...” (ll. 13-16)

She also argues that the men who fail to mature and act in childish ways are not a product of modern society but have always existed, and women had to accept them in the past because they had no other choice.


The way Stephanie Coontz argues

First of all, the writer mostly uses direct argumentation, enhanced by irony and sarcasm. She directly states that male decline is a myth (the title) and then mocks those arguing the contrary by bringing logical arguments against this view through rhetorical questions: “How is it, then, that men still control the most important industries, (….) and continue to make more money than women who have similar skills and education? And why do women make up only 17 percent of Congress?” (ll. 13-20)

The use of logic reasoning is a rhetorical technique of argumentation that we call logos. Most of the author’s views are argued using logical evidence and examples,...


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