In the presented quote from a journal article “Violence, crisis, and the everyday” (2013) by Das, the author is guilty of stereotyping as an informal fallacy. The author groundlessly suggests that the ideas of masculinity are correlated with young men changing provisional jobs instead of having a regular one. This stereotyping, especially given in the context of the problem of rape by boys and men living in very poor districts, can have dramatic impact on the perception of masculinity, its dependence on the job status and its effect on men getting involved in rape. The research has shown no credible evidential support for such claim, and without such support, the claim, being a groundless one, should not be considered true.
Das, V. (2013). Violence, crisis, and the everyday. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 45(4), 798-800. doi:10.1017/S0020743813000937
Claim. Give verbatim description or attach a copy noting content focused on.
“Complaints of awragardi, referring to a footloose form of living in which one fails to take up any responsibilities, were ubiquitous. What happens to ideas of masculinity when young men drift from one kind of provisional job to another? One of the things that gang rapes in Delhi have brought forth are the peculiar forms of bonding between older men and young boys. From the testimonies in courts that are emerging we now see that these groups of men—with ten to twenty years’ difference in their respective ages—often went in search of prostitutes together. The minors were often away from home or were not integrated in the home” (799-800).
Critique. Identify the main fallacy, describe why you think this applies to the quoted material, and describe possible consequences of believing an inaccurate claim. Have there been any critical tests of the claim? If so, what was found? (Consult relevant databases.)
The main fallacy in the highlighted portion of the text is a stereotyping fallacy. This fallacy lies in generalization that is based on a person’s biases and oversimplifies an issue. In this quote, the author assumes in her question to the readers that the developing ideas of masculinity are dependent on whether a young men has and does not have a regular job. The author implies that men, who have many provisional jobs instead of a single steady one, develop faulty ideas about masculinity. However, the author does not provide any credible evidence to support her claims. Online research has shown only one source, a book called “Masculinities and Crime: Critique and Reconceptualization of Theory” (1993) by James W. Messerschmidt, that draws connection between not having a regular source of income and young men’s participation in group robbery to “construct a specific type of public masculinity” (107). However, Messerschmidt mentions that such young men do not want to exit poverty, but want to have social life and seek for possibilities to finance it, while not having access to legitimate funding sources (107). Thus, while talking about the absence of legitimate sources of income, he does not mention any effects of provisional jobs on the understanding of masculinity by young men. Therefore, there is currently no critical test of the claim that drifting between any provisional jobs influences masculinity and that there is a causation or correlation relationship between masculinity and rape. Making such fallacy supports existing stereotypes about masculinity, including the claim that a masculine man needs to have a regular and steady job, otherwise his notion of masculinity will be negatively affected. As this claim is mentioned in the context of rape, this might create a wrong perception in a reader that there is a correlation between men having provisional, instead of regular, jobs and the possibility of them committing a crime of rape.
Reference to the book mentioned in the Critique answer:
Messerschmidt, J. (1993). Masculinities and crime: Critique and reconceptualization of theory. Rowman & Littlefield.
Main Fallacy: Stereotyping
How it applies to quote:
What have you learned from this exercise?