Rhetoric of Science

Disciplinarity and the Rhetoric of Science: A Social Epistemological Reception Study



This paper weaves together several elements to construct a reception study in the rhetoric of science, reflexively applied to the rhetoric of science itself as a field. This analysis supplements a reading of the criticial reception to Alan Gross’s The Rhetoric of Science and its transformation into Starring the Text (i.e., a renamed “third edition”) with an examination of citation data regarding Gross’s book. The citation data provide some support for the idea that many of Gross’s readers perceived him as taking a position in the “Science Wars” of the 1990s. The essay builds a theory of “citation contexts” (that is, how scholarly work is cited in text) out of Steve Fuller’s concept of interdisciplinary interpenetration, and shows that Gross’s work may be used differently within articles appearing in communication- and rhetoric-related journals than in those published in science studies and other journals. The analysis contributes to the ongoing project of disciplinary self-reflection in the rhetoric of science, and provides additional information about Alan Gross’s singular place in the field.

Keywords: citation analysis, citation contexts, disciplinarity, interdisciplinary interpenetration, reception studies, reflexivity, rhetoric of science, social epistemology, bibliometrics

How to Cite: White, W. J. (2014) “Disciplinarity and the Rhetoric of Science: A Social Epistemological Reception Study”, Poroi. 10(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.13008/2151-2957.1130