Al Qaeda in German and British Tabloids
This chapter shows that metaphors in the media actively take part in the construction of the world as we see it, think of it, and ultimately react to it. By projecting understandings from one conceptual area, such as war, to a different area, such as terrorism, metaphors naturalize specific countermeasures while placing other options outside of the mainstream debate. Metaphors are mechanisms for cognitive engagement by making abstract concepts and phenomena that are difficult to grasp, such as terrorism, comprehendible. The chapter begins by illustrating the concept of metaphors, reflecting on what metaphors do, and thereby outlining a method of metaphorical analysis. It then applies this method to tabloid news media discourse in Germany and the UK, and examines the four dominant conceptual metaphors that construct the terrorism of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in these media. These conceptual metaphors are: terrorism is war, terrorism is crime, terrorism is uncivilized evil, and terrorism is disease. The chapter concludes by reflecting on some of the differences between media representations in Germany and the UK, and outlines some possible explanations for varying metaphor usage.
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