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A climate for metaphors : an inquiry into the cognitive and discursive power of climate change metaphors, supported by a diachronic critical metaphor analysis of opinion articles published in three US newspapers

Ravn, Kenneth LU (2020) HEKM51 20191
Human Ecology
Abstract
The news media remains as one of the most important sources of societal uptake of climate change information. Its potential to covertly shape public perception and attitudes regarding climate change is therefore considerable but difficult to assess. This thesis underscores the discursive and cognitive role of metaphor in this dynamic by using a framework that combines the theory of conceptual metaphor and the concept of generative metaphor, and by applying the method of critical metaphor analysis on a corpus of 300 opinion articles published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today during 2007 and 2017.

The findings indicate a significant clustering of metaphors drawing on the conceptual domains of war and journeys to... (More)
The news media remains as one of the most important sources of societal uptake of climate change information. Its potential to covertly shape public perception and attitudes regarding climate change is therefore considerable but difficult to assess. This thesis underscores the discursive and cognitive role of metaphor in this dynamic by using a framework that combines the theory of conceptual metaphor and the concept of generative metaphor, and by applying the method of critical metaphor analysis on a corpus of 300 opinion articles published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today during 2007 and 2017.

The findings indicate a significant clustering of metaphors drawing on the conceptual domains of war and journeys to metaphorically portray efforts to address climate change. This clustering is however not constant between the years, thus implying the presence of an underlying shift in climate change discourse. Metaphoric compounds such as ‘carbon market’, and metaphors of cleanliness are also found to be salient and diachronically significant in the corpus.

This thesis furthermore provides evidence of how the use of metaphors in the articles tacitly structure and sustain a recurring narrative based on non-zero-sum storylines of climate change mitigation, indicating thus a discursive affinity with the ideas of sustainable development and ecological modernization. (Less)
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author
Ravn, Kenneth LU
supervisor
organization
course
HEKM51 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
climate change, political ecology, media, cognition, metaphor, discourse, sustainable development, ecological modernization
language
English
id
9003769
date added to LUP
2020-06-16 15:43:54
date last changed
2020-06-16 15:43:54
@misc{9003769,
  abstract     = {The news media remains as one of the most important sources of societal uptake of climate change information. Its potential to covertly shape public perception and attitudes regarding climate change is therefore considerable but difficult to assess. This thesis underscores the discursive and cognitive role of metaphor in this dynamic by using a framework that combines the theory of conceptual metaphor and the concept of generative metaphor, and by applying the method of critical metaphor analysis on a corpus of 300 opinion articles published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today during 2007 and 2017.

The findings indicate a significant clustering of metaphors drawing on the conceptual domains of war and journeys to metaphorically portray efforts to address climate change. This clustering is however not constant between the years, thus implying the presence of an underlying shift in climate change discourse. Metaphoric compounds such as ‘carbon market’, and metaphors of cleanliness are also found to be salient and diachronically significant in the corpus.

This thesis furthermore provides evidence of how the use of metaphors in the articles tacitly structure and sustain a recurring narrative based on non-zero-sum storylines of climate change mitigation, indicating thus a discursive affinity with the ideas of sustainable development and ecological modernization.},
  author       = {Ravn, Kenneth},
  keyword      = {climate change,political ecology,media,cognition,metaphor,discourse,sustainable development,ecological modernization},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A climate for metaphors : an inquiry into the cognitive and discursive power of climate change metaphors, supported by a diachronic critical metaphor analysis of opinion articles published in three US newspapers},
  year         = {2020},
}