Migration in the Media - Metaphors in Swedish and German News Coverage

NORDEUROPAforum - Zeitschrift für Kulturstudien. 2017;2017:38-65 DOI 10.18452/18469


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Journal Title: NORDEUROPAforum - Zeitschrift für Kulturstudien

ISSN: 0940-5585 (Print); 1863-639X (Online)

Publisher: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Society/Institution: Nordeuropa-Institut, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

LCC Subject Category: Geography. Anthropology. Recreation: Anthropology: Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology | History (General) and history of Europe: History of Northern Europe. Scandinavia

Country of publisher: Germany

Language of fulltext: German, English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Bo Petersson

Lena Kainz


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 8 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Migration-related events have received overwhelming attention in mainstream media coverage within Europe in recent years. This study investigates the metaphorical framing of migration issues by comparing dominant discursive patterns from two national and two regional daily newspapers in Sweden and Germany. Applying a corpus-based critical metaphor analysis, the spotlight falls on metaphors prevalent in media articles published during the EU Valletta Summit on migration held in November 2015. The article is inspired by Lakoff and Johnson’s classic work, Metaphors We Live By, according to which metaphors are components of everyday language with a pervasive influence on thoughts and actions. Adhering to this logic, metaphors become most powerful when taken for granted (»naturalized«) and therefore evade readers’ attention. Apart from tracing naturalized metaphorical framings in mainstream Swedish and German media coverage, this study discusses how the discursive connotations conveyed by dominant metaphors are likely to influence readers’ interpretation of migration-related issues and policies.