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Examining Metaphors in Biopolitical Discourse
Unformatted Document Text:  Metaphors in Biopolitics, page 34 vegetative is changed, just as the concept of designer is changed by designer baby, so that future messages must struggle not merely to change the frame itself, but re- establish a more complex and accurate understanding of the base concepts, vegetative and designer. In order for GMO foods to be embraced as real measures to curb world hunger, audiences must grapple with the spectre of Frankenstein’s monster. The exemplars used here illustrate an important point about under-the-radar metaphors used in biopolitical discourse: They can have a powerful ideological effect that compounds their cognitive impact. Because the figurative expressions are taken as literal, the connections they establish between certain perceptual simulators and the presumed conditions that produce the perceptions are taken as real and true, hence beyond reasonable dispute. Thus, an expression of this type can have the effect of “naturalizing” the frame it establishes, rendering it as apparently factual and descriptive, hence not subject to critical examination and dispute. Implications for Framing Theory and Persuasion The contribution of metaphorical languages to message framing has long been recognized and discussed. What the concept of under-the-radar metaphors adds to this discussion is the recognition that certain metaphors, if presented in a way that seems literal rather than figurative, can have an even more powerful framing effect, establishing the implicit frame as an aspect of reality that is beyond challenge. As the discourse surrounding death tax illustrates, a trope of this sort can present an opponent with the unpalatable choice between accepting the frame (with its underlying narrative) and attempting to construct a contrary argument within it, or taking on the difficult task of challenging the frame itself─that is to say, challenging the already-accepted “reality.”

Authors: Coleman, Cynthia-Lou. and Ritchie, L. David.
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Metaphors in Biopolitics, page 
34
vegetative is changed, just as the concept of designer is changed by designer baby, so 
that future messages must struggle not merely to change the frame itself, but re-
establish a more complex and accurate understanding of the base concepts, vegetative 
and designer. In order for GMO foods to be embraced as real measures to curb world 
hunger, audiences must grapple with the spectre of Frankenstein’s monster. 
The exemplars used here illustrate an important point about under-the-radar 
metaphors used in biopolitical discourse: They can have a powerful ideological effect 
that compounds their cognitive impact. Because the figurative expressions are taken as 
literal, the connections they establish between certain perceptual simulators and the 
presumed conditions that produce the perceptions are taken as real and true, hence 
beyond reasonable dispute. Thus, an expression of this type can have the effect of 
“naturalizing” the frame it establishes, rendering it as apparently factual and 
descriptive, hence not subject to critical examination and dispute. 
Implications for Framing Theory and Persuasion
The contribution of metaphorical languages to message framing has long been 
recognized and discussed. What the concept of under-the-radar metaphors adds to this 
discussion is the recognition that certain metaphors, if presented in a way that seems 
literal rather than figurative, can have an even more powerful framing effect, 
establishing the implicit frame as an aspect of reality that is beyond challenge. As the 
discourse surrounding death tax illustrates, a trope of this sort can present an opponent 
with the unpalatable choice between accepting the frame (with its underlying narrative) 
and attempting to construct a contrary argument within it, or taking on the difficult task 
of challenging the frame itself─that is to say, challenging the already-accepted “reality.” 


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