September 11, Neo-liberalism and Discourse: The Cohering Function of Metaphor

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    In recent years, metaphors and their function in discourse have received increased attention within the CDA-field. Hence, it has been acknowledged that metaphor plays a salient role in making discourse, its structure and arguments cohere. On this background, this article argues in favour of a more in-depth analysis of metaphor in discourse through a combined theoretical approach of Critical Discourse Analysis (e.g. van Dijk 1997a; 1997b) and Conceptual Metaphor Theory (e.g. Lakoff & Johnson 1980/2003). The claim advanced is that through this combined approach it is possible to analyse and highlight the primary functions of metaphors in media discourse, viz. that of making complex and complicated (socio-economic) issues understandable to the public and that of promoting and legitimising the ideological viewpoints of particular political groups. In support of this claim, a small corpus of British financial news reports is analysed. This corpus covers the two-month period before and after the September-11 attacks and illustrates the extent to which economic ideology (neo-liberalism) and socio-economic change (the terrorist attacks) influence the choice of metaphor, and hence, the construction of reality. Furthermore, the data provide a basis for demonstrating how metaphorical structures may interact to create a coherent image of the economy and thus facilitate the promotion of a specific economic ideology in discourse and with that the interests of dominant political groupings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Book seriesQuaderns de Filologia. Estudis Linguistics
    Pages (from-to)95-111
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    Dive into the research topics of 'September 11, Neo-liberalism and Discourse: The Cohering Function of Metaphor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this