The discourse dynamics approach to metaphor and metaphor-led discourse analysis

Cameron, Lynne; Maslen, Robert; Todd, Zazie; Maule, John; Stratton, Peter and Stanley, Neil (2009). The discourse dynamics approach to metaphor and metaphor-led discourse analysis. Metaphor and Symbol, 24(2) pp. 63–89.



The use of metaphor as a tool to uncover people's ideas, attitudes, and values through analysis of discourse is demonstrated and illustrated with data collected in a social science research project. A 'discourse dynamics' approach to metaphor situated within a complexity/dynamic systems perspective is developed. This approach is turned into a method of 'metaphor-led discourse analysis' which is described in detail, using a focus group discussion to illustrate the procedure: transcription, metaphor identification, coding metaphors and using software, and finding patterns of metaphor use from coded data. The reasoning that justifies decisions at each stage of the procedure is made explicit so that the trustworthiness of the method can be maximized. The method of metaphor-led discourse analysis has been developed through a series of empirical projects to be accessible and relevant to social science researchers as well as to metaphor scholars.

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