Metaphor Analysis in Social Science: The problem

Metaphor Analysis in Social Science: The problem

Metaphor Analysis in Social Science: The problem Lynne Cameron and Rob Maslen Outline of talk 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Introduction The PCTR Project Identifying metaphor: process and issues Grouping metaphors into systematic sets: process and issues Visualising metaphors Metaphor analysis involves investigating the linguistic metaphors used by people to conceptualise and interpret situations.

Metaphors offer speakers discourse spaces in which to explore experiences, ideas and feelings, and cognitive frames to describe and label themes and topics. They provide a basis for understanding and for determining action, and structure emotions and feelings In metaphor analysis, the emotional and ideational content of systematic sets of metaphors are identified, together with variation across different situations and social

groups. Identifying the different metaphors used in focus group talk about security and terrorism issues, and their affective value, will reveal cognitive frames and the attitudes and values associated with them, and how these vary across groups. (PCTR project proposal) in other words They talked about X in terms of Y

therefore They think about X in terms of Y The Leeds University Perception and Communication of Terrorist Risk Project ESRC New Security Challenges Programme Multi-disciplinary project

Institute of Psychological Sciences Schools of Business, Education and Law Aims To investigate the effects of background terrorist threat from different

psychological and linguistic perspectives To investigate how the public would like to be informed about particular risks associated with terrorism, and the consequences of particular communication strategies Research Questions How do people conceptualise and

assess the background threat of terrorism? Is there variation across groups differentiated according to social class, gender and religion? Data Focus Groups with members of the public

Interviews with experts: Media Threat managers (police, emergency management, intelligence) Methods of Analysis

Metaphor Causal Attributions Thematic qualitative analysis Social Amplification of Risk Framework (SARF) (Pigeon et al, 2003) *THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR PROJECT* 3 Identifying Metaphor: process and issues

The central identifying feature of a linguistic metaphor is the use of a lexical item that can be seen as incongruous with the topic of the on-going talk the Vehicle term of a metaphor. The other meaning of the Vehicle can be used to make sense of its use in the discourse context. The Vehicle term can be a single word

raising or a phrase bring together. Choices made already metaphor as a family-resemblance category rather than a classical category with necessary and sufficient conditions.

Identify through comparison with central exemplars, exclude, place boundaries through explicit decisions (Cameron, 1999) work with Vehicle terms rather than metaphorically-used words. work with linguistic metaphors, rather than trying to identify all linguistic manifestations of conceptual metaphors. Practical decisions in identification

personification delexicalized verbs and nouns prepositions etymology similes

Doing better metaphor identification Record explicit decisions. Be consistent across data and researchers e.g. use word search Metaphor Identification sources

Cameron, 2003, Ch 3. MIP (Metaphor Identification Procedure) the pragglejaz group 4 Grouping metaphors into systematic sets

list Vehicles move them around into connected groupings construct a label for each grouping sort each group by connected Topics these are systematic metaphors

not conceptual metaphors Constructing systematic metaphors spark a conversation heated debates hype that is generated power of the media

HEAT ELECTRICITY GENERATING HEAT / ELECTRICITY Emerging groupings from the data ftp://ftp.home.leeds.ac.uk/workdisk/ papers06/Vehicle%20groups.rtf Not UNDERSTANDING IS SEEING you saw this as a journey did you see it as the big political picture?

lose sight of the others humanity get a glimpse a distorted picture until we do see each other in our true light.. were always going to be dealing with some reduction or caricature RECONCILIATION IS CHANGING A DISTORTED IMAGE OF THE OTHER in other words They talked about T in terms of V1, V2, V3, V4 in discourse context D therefore

They think about T in terms of V1, V2, V3, V4 Principles in constructing systematic metaphors keep groupings flexible as data is explored:

try for best fit, using your understanding of the talk dont over-interpret or construct keep alternatives alive be ready to re-group or sub-divide

find evidence for interpretations keep dated lists and notes to track decisions In choosing a label, keep close to the language and word form Choices made

to extract metaphors from their local context of use to be mainly inductive, with conceptual metaphors as sensitizing concepts (Charmaz, 2001: 515) to start from Vehicles rather than Topics level of groupings and labels - specific rather than general We could

group in several ways and/or at different levels of generalisation and abstraction and see what this suggests. try to find more valid and reliable ways of grouping (pile sort; stats; cluster analysis; personal construct theory) undertake grouping collaboratively as a project team

Vehicle groupings 5 Visualising metaphors Cumulative frequency graph Distribution of metaphors

Metaphor in local discourse context metaphor-led discourse analysis metaphor at critical points in talk how metaphors are negotiated, adapted and shifted how metaphors are understood

in other words They talked about T in terms of V1, V2, V3, V4 in discourse context D therefore They think about T in terms of V1, V2, V3, V4 Choices and problems in metaphor analysis

What is being identified in discourse data? How? How are individual linguistic metaphors condensed into larger units of analysis? What do these larger units represent? How do we move between local and global?

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