Migration, media and "deliberate" metaphors

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The topic of migration appears to hold a particular attraction for metaphor users, due to its rich potential for polemical and emotional language as well as its socio-political and historical significance. Discourse-analytical studies of such imagery have highlighted figurative categorizations of immigration as a flood or some kind of natural disaster, or as a military invasion, and of the “host” nation’s response as containment or defence. Such imagery can also be found in the recent public debates about international students as “immigrants” in Britain. From the viewpoint of Critical Discourse Analysis, the argumentative and thus, political, success of the government’s metaphorical rhetoric appears to be dubious, because it implies a simplistic understanding of the social processes involved and makes commitments for their solution that are unlikely to be met. The article discusses the functions of such imagery and its impact on the public’s expectations about immigration policy in the light of recent theoretical debates about “deliberate metaphors”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-19
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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