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Examining Metaphors in Biopolitical Discourse
Unformatted Document Text:  Metaphors in Biopolitics, page 2 ABSTRACT Examining Metaphors in Biopolitical Discourse This essay argues that common metaphors and metaphoric phrases used in biopolitical discourse limit how meanings are constructed by framing messages narrowly: so much so, that alternate readings are delimited, resulting in less opportunity for cognitive scrutiny of such messages. We moor our discussion of metaphors in cognitive linguistics, building on three decades of research by scholars including Sam Glucksberg (2008), George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1980, 1999), and Ray Gibbs, Jr. (2006, 2008), demonstrating how research in framing effects bolsters our claims of limited entailments resulting from message construction. By situating our discussion of framing in biopolitics we make a case that metaphors including Frankenfood, Designer Baby, Vegetative State and Death Tax address how life and death are “managed” in discourse (Foucault, 1980). In this essay we demonstrate ways in which the framing of some metaphors in social discourse slip under readers’ and viewers’ cognitive radars, and thus become “under-the-radar metaphors.” Key Words: biopolitics, death tax, designer baby, framing, Frankenfood, genetic engineering, metaphor, perceptual simulation theory, vegetative state Examining Metaphors in Biopolitical Discourse

Authors: Coleman, Cynthia-Lou. and Ritchie, L. David.
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Metaphors in Biopolitics, page 
2
ABSTRACT 
Examining Metaphors in Biopolitical Discourse
This essay argues that common metaphors and metaphoric phrases used in 
biopolitical discourse limit how meanings are constructed by framing messages 
narrowly: so much so, that alternate readings are delimited, resulting in less opportunity 
for cognitive scrutiny of such messages. We moor our discussion of metaphors in 
cognitive linguistics, building on three decades of research by scholars including Sam 
Glucksberg (2008), George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1980, 1999), and Ray Gibbs, Jr. 
(2006, 2008), demonstrating how research in framing effects bolsters our claims of 
limited entailments resulting from message construction. By situating our discussion of 
framing in biopolitics we make a case that metaphors including Frankenfood, Designer 
Baby, Vegetative State and Death Tax address how life and death are “managed” in 
discourse (Foucault, 1980). In this essay we demonstrate ways in which the framing of 
some metaphors in social discourse slip under readers’ and viewers’ cognitive radars, 
and thus become “under-the-radar metaphors.”
Key Words:  biopolitics, death tax, designer baby, framing, Frankenfood, genetic 
engineering, metaphor, perceptual simulation theory, vegetative state
Examining Metaphors in Biopolitical Discourse


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