Conclusion: Gender-neutral Metaphors

  • Veronika Koller


In the Introduction to this book. It was proposed that business media discourse is characterized by coherent conceptual models centring on a WAR metaphor. Such models were regarded as a masculinizing force on both that discourse as well as on related social practices. The hypothesis was tested using a theoretical framework Integrating critical and cognitive approaches to language and discourse. The analysis of two central areas covered by the business media — marketing and M&;A — shows that these discourses are in fact permeated by central conceptual models. These models are. first and foremost, characterized by various forms of dynamic movement in relation to, and aggression against, other entitles In a bounded space. Although they may vary In their degree of hybridity, they arc nevertheless coherent. In both discourses, the war/fighting metaphor proves to be the most frequent, most varied and ultimately most entrenched. In addition, it also turned out that it Is supported by the other metaphors in the cluster, even if these seem contradictory at first (as in the case of the mating metaphor in the M&A cluster). Obviously, such cognitive support must necessarily lie rather subtle, rendering the favoured conceptual model all the more persuasive. In this context. It also showed that alternative metaphors are at best marginal and at worst negligible. What is more, they also tend to he co-opted Into the dominant cluster, leaving little leeway for counter-discursive conceptualizations.


Metaphoric Concept Cognitive Support Dominant Cluster Tual Model Free Market Ideology 
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© Veronika Koller 2004

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  • Veronika Koller

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