Title page for ETD etd-06132006-210624

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Pippin, Roger L
Author's Email Address tabularasa001@yahoo.com
URN etd-06132006-210624
Title The Discursive Practices of Chemical Discipline
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Communication Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Joshua Gunn Committee Chair
John Protevi Committee Member
Laura Sells Committee Member
Michael Bowman Committee Member
  • instrumental rationality
  • identity logic
  • children
  • machines
  • ritalin
  • black box
  • ADHD
Date of Defense 2006-02-24
Availability unrestricted
This project examines the history of science and its relationship to the popular, or lay, audience, a problem of rhetorical inquiry since Aristotle. This project also explores the implications of the emerging trend in lay literature on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to transform the causal mechanism underlying ADHD so that it is isomorphic in structure and parallel in content to the most contemporary and fetishized sciences of the human body. In other words, how ADHD was once a problem of brain chemistry, and is now a problem of genetics is not simply a matter of scientific practice on the level of empirical data, but instead reflective of a larger societal trend in the era of rational instrumentality to reduce human behavior to the analogy of a mechanical machine. As such, by examining literature on ADHD that is designed to persuade a lay audience of the existence of ADHD, this project argues that the rhetorical dimensions of ADHD are perpetuated by a logic of a “black box,” or a type of reasoning that privileges effects over the internal operations of an organism or machine.
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