How the Gene Got Its Groove

How the Gene Got Its Groove : Figurative Language, Science, and the Rhetoric of the Real

4.66 (3 ratings by Goodreads)

List price: US$26.95

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Against a backdrop of the history of the gene as a scientific and a cultural icon, How the Gene Got Its Groove examines how "genes" function as rhetorical objects. Returning to Wilhelm Johannsen's original argument for the term, Elizabeth Parthenia Shea maintains that the gene was, first and foremost, a rhetorical invention, designed to lay claim to a material reality and to dissociate itself from the problems of language, conjecture, and rhetorical uncertainty. She traces the rhetorical work of the gene through scientific and nonscientific arguments throughout the twentieth century. The gene's travels between scientific and popular texts challenge us to recognize the subtle powers of figurative language in creating a sense that matters of science stand outside the contingencies of language and the influences of rhetoric.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 146 pages
  • 149.86 x 223.52 x 12.7mm | 226.8g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • Total Illustrations: 2
  • 0791474267
  • 9780791474266

Review quote

"This book addresses a significant topic that cuts across English, communication studies, and cultural studies. The author's treatment of the gene-as-object in contemporary culture adds a significant dimension to the understanding of how genetic imagery is materially present in popular contexts." -- John Lyne, University of Pittsburgh "The book is consistent with postmodern views of language and semantics, which hold that words are not precise signifiers. This is an important message that rhetoricians need to continue conveying, especially about scientific language." -- Ken Baake, author of Metaphor and Knowledge: The Challenges of Writing Science
show more

About Elizabeth Parthenia Shea

Elizabeth Parthenia Shea is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at Northeastern University.
show more

Rating details

3 ratings
4.66 out of 5 stars
5 67% (2)
4 33% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X