Rational Rhetoric: The Role of Science in Popular Discourse

SKU: 978-1-60235-069-4

David J. Tietge

*Winner of JAC's Gary A. Olson Award for most outstanding book in rhetorical and cultural theory. - 5/27/2010.

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978-1-60235-069-4 (paperback, $32.00; £17.00; €21.00); © 2008 by Parlor Press. 472 pages with notes, illustrations,, bibliography, and index

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978-1-60235-070-0 (hardcover, $65.00; £37.00; €45.00); 978-1-60235-071-7 (Adobe eBook, $16.00; £9.00; €11.00)

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Rational Rhetoric: The Role of Science in Popular Discourse  places popular representations of science and scientific discourse under the terministic lenses of rhetorical theory, cultural studies, and language theory. David J. Tietge ranges broadly and insightfully across a wide range of scientific discourse and ideology as it is reconfigured for general consumption, in popular science writing (from Carl Sagan to Stephen Hawking and Stephen J. Gould), magazines (from Scientific American to Time and Social Text), news media (from CNN to The Discovery Channel), the public controversies over evolution, creationism, and intelligent design, and even pop psychology (Oprah, The Dr. Phil Show). The result is a tour de force reconceptualization of the enormous impact that our understanding (and misunderstanding) of science has on modern consciousness and, in turn, many of the most important issues confronting American society in an era of global warming, wars on science, and other inconvenient truths.

What people are saying about Rational Rhetoric . . .

Rational Rhetoric: the Role of Science in Popular Discourse is complex and complete, reasonable and readable.  It doesn’t say to readers, "here’s yet another cultural debate in which you have a stake"; instead, Rational Rhetoric argues, "here’s a debate that’s going on in American culture that matters to all of us, and you’re already sitting at the table taking part."
—Shane Borrowman, University of Nevada, Reno

About the Author

David Tietge is Associate Professor of English at Monmouth University, where he teaches courses in rhetorical theory, the rhetoric of science, composition pedagogy, literature, and writing.  He has published on scientific rhetoric in The Journal of Technical Writing and Communication and JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory.  His earlier book, Flash Effect: Science and the Rhetorical Origins of Cold War America (2002, Ohio University Press), examines the role of science on the ideology of American society during the early Cold War era.


Foreword and A Note on Methodology
Introduction: A Case For Rhetorical Studies
1 A Culture of Science and Capitalism
2 The Creation of Media-Ready Science
3 Two Popular Representatives of Science
4 Scientists Named Steve
5 Scientific Ethos
6 The Sound of Punditry
7 More Popular Sources for the Scientific Project
8 Intelligent Design, Creationism, Evolution, and Darwinian Descents
9 Residual Field Analysis
10 Postmodernism, Humanism, and the Science Wars
11 The Education “Crisis”
12 Conclusion
Works Cited
About the Author

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