Attack metaphors of the welfare state and austerity across the British press, 2008–2015

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2020, vol. 46, iss. 1, pp. 21-48
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
This paper analyses a group of metaphors conceptualising the welfare state as a participant in the ATTACK scenario, as well as several related metaphors involving the use of force, in a corpus of British newspaper articles published between 2008 and April 2015. The analysis draws on a point of convergence between Discourse-Historical Approach and Conceptual Metaphor Theory, focusing on the argumentative functions of these metaphors. The paper finds that these particular metaphors are attested predominantly in the left-leaning newspapers. As a predication strategy with a coercive effect, they typically work to axiologically and emotionally undermine the austerity policies of the Coalition government.
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