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Title: Metaphor in contemporary British social-policy : a cognitive critical study of governmental discourses on social exclusion
Author: Paul, Davidson
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 0978
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis explores the ideological role of metaphor in British governmental discourses on 'social exclusion'. A hybrid methodology, combining approaches from Corpus Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis and cognitive theories of metaphor, is used to address how social exclusion and other metaphors are deployed to create an ideologically vested representation of society. The data consists of linguistic metaphors identified from a 400,000+ word machine-readable corpus of British governmental texts on social exclusion covering a ten year period (1997- 2007). From these surface level features of text, underlying systematic and conceptual metaphors are then inferred. The analysis reveals how the interrelation between social exclusion and a range of other metaphors creates a dichotomous representation of society in which social problems are discursively placed outside society, glossing inequalities within the included mainstream and placing the blame for exclusion on the cultural deficiencies of the excluded. The solution to the problem of exclusion is implicit within the logic of its conceptual structure and involves moving the excluded across the 'boundary' to join the 'insiders'. The welfare state has a key role to play in this and is underpinned by a range of metaphors which anticipate movement on the part of the excluded away from a position of dependence on the state. This expectation of movement is itself metaphorically structured by the notion of a social contract in which the socially excluded have a responsibility to try and include themselves in society in return for the right of (temporary) state support. Key systematic metaphors are explained by reference to a discourse-historical view of ideological change in processes of political party transformation.
Supervisor: Perrigo, Sarah ; Koller, Veronika Sponsor: BISA and CSV
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Metaphor ; Great Britain ; Social-policy ; Governmental discourses ; Social exclusion ; Critical Discourse Analysis ; Cognitive theories ; Corpus Linguistics