Biotech as 'Biothreat'? Metaphorical Constructions in Discourse

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    24 Citations (Scopus)


    In Denmark, as in many other European countries, biotechnology continues to be a much debated and controversial issue. The paper takes its starting point in this debate, investigating how metaphorical constructions in media discourse reproduce and promote the viewpoints of particular societal groups. In this, the paper tries to make up for the limited focus upon the role played by metaphor and discourse in shaping public attitudes of biotechnology.

    The paper has two parts; a theoretical part discussing the combination of conceptual metaphor studies and critical discourse analysis to provide a more comprehensive frame for explaining the function of metaphor in use, and an empirical part analysing biotech-metaphors in the Danish print press. Although not conclusive, the analysis points to metaphorical constructions in the press being both grounded in basic image schematic structures and highly influenced by attitudes expressed by societal groups, based on the notions of risk, fear and danger.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalDiscourse & Society
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)99-119
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Media language
    • Critical discourse analysis
    • Metaphor
    • Biotechnology
    • Risk


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