Volume 1 (2) 2007


Bryan Meadows

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  • Following in the tradition of Critical Discourse Analysis and the growing field of Critical Metaphor Analysis, this study explores the way in which the Bush administration attempts to create both distance and solidarity towards general social categories indexed by the terms Iraqi people and American people. The acts of distancing and solidarity are accomplished primarily via metaphorical and metonymical references to conceptualizations of us/them which in turn correspond to Lakoff’s HERO and VILLAIN conceptual metaphors. Qualitative analysis of public statements on the Iraq conflict issued by the Bush administration during the years 2004-2005 present the following findings. The explicit identification of the enemy/other category of the Iraq conflict is supported by metaphorical and metonymic images that speak to the American cultural cognitive model. Furthermore, the study underscores the dynamic nature of categories by documenting a metaphorical transfer between the SADDAM and TERRORIST domains. Also identified in the study is the conceptual metaphor of IRAQ AS AMERICA which presents to the American audience an Iraqi version of themselves, completely outfitted with established positive characteristics of the American people category. Finally, the dynamic nature of social categories and metaphorical associations are specifically explored in terms of this emerging conceptual metaphor.

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Penny Powers

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  • Discourse analysis may be performed in different ways, but all of the procedural variations share some philosophical underpinnings. This article will describe the theoretical antecedents for the Foucaultian version of this useful method of inquiry.

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Michael A. Mancini and Rebecca Rogers

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  • We analyzed separate interviews of two adults about their experiences with psychiatric disability, the mental health treatment system and recovery using critical discourse analysis (CDA). Our goal was to contribute a more detailed portrait of the process of recovery from serious psychiatric disability by exploring the commonalities and departures within the interviews. To foreshadow the conclusions, each participant’s representation of self shifted across two domains. Furthermore, these representations shifted reflexively with changes occurring in their environments and social support systems. This research sheds light on the nature of disease-centered subjectivities and the construction of practice and policy contexts that build on the domains where the adults demonstrate the greatest agency and ability. Practical implications for mental health research, policy and practice are shared.

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Júlia Todolí

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  • It is widely assumed that metaphor is a salient feature of discourse, with a two-fold function. Firstly, it helps make complex issues understandable to the public, and secondly, it helps promote and legitimize the ideological viewpoints of particular groups. The main aim of this paper is to look into the Plan for Restoring the Islamic Wall in Barri del Carme (València, 2002) to show how the authors of the plan use metaphors to mystify the reality and to illustrate the discursive resistance expressed by residents and residents’ associations. We will shed new light on how conventionalized metaphors are commonly accepted as natural ways of naming a reality, and therefore function as a powerful device for mystifying the reality. In contrast, (one-shot) image metaphors and less conventionalized linguistic metaphors, are not pervasive in all kinds of discourses, are not natural ways of naming a reality and can lead to discursive subversion.

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Øyvind Gjerstad

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  • This paper has been written with the dual aim of demonstrating the need for a systematic inclusion of contextual elements in the analysis of discourse, as well as the advantages of basing such an analysis on a theory of linguistic polyphony. By highlighting the danger of permitting models of context to rely on the social representations of the analyst, the paper calls for and proposes a set of methodic-theoretic principles to serve as a possible basis for future models for contextual reconstruction. These principles are then applied to the analysis of an op-ed by the French Socialist Party figure Laurent Fabius, written with the explicit purpose of obtaining a majority opposed to the European constitutional treaty in the referendum of May 2005. The theoretical tool of the analysis is the Scandinavian Theory of Linguistic Polyphony (the ScaPoLine), which serves to identify the presence of different points of view in one single utterance. The linguistic phenomena under analysis are primarily reported speech and concessive argumentative constructions. Demonstrating how Fabius relates his own points of view to those of others, the analysis aims to give insight into the manner in which he discursively constructs the political debate on the European Constitution.

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Natalia Chaban, Jessica Bain & Katrina Stats

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Institutionalised metaphors are an everyday feature of the EU’s internal discursive constructions. The relevant literature argues that one of the most well-established and frequently employed metaphors describing the EU in EU discourses is that of the ‘Common European House’. This paper suggests that this metaphor is also prolific in external discourses depicting the EU. Easily comprehensible and intimately familiar to the international public, the ‘common house’ metaphor is argued to serve as an efficient means of organising thoughts and observations about unfamiliar and complex global phenomena such as European integration.  Exploring a case study of Australasian (Australian and New Zealand) daily news coverage of the 2004 EU enlargement, we found that the popular ‘house’ metaphor delivered imagery dominated by negativity and contradiction, portraying the enlarging EU as an unstable, divided and overcrowded entity. Taking into account the power of metaphors to raise the awareness of key EU concepts, policy issues and events, the imagery resulting from the media’s use of the ‘house’ metaphor is problematic. The continued employment of negative and contradictory portrayals of an important economic and political counterpart may have concerning effects on the perceptions that the publics and decision-makers of Australasia hold of the EU as a global actor, still ‘un objet politique non-identifié’ on the world stage.
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