Media for Diversity and Migrant Integration

Britain as a Container: Immigration Metaphors in the 2005 Election Campaign

TitleBritain as a Container: Immigration Metaphors in the 2005 Election Campaign
Publication TypeJournal Article
CountryUnited Kingdom
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsCharteris-Black, J.
Journal TitleDiscourse & Society September 2006 17: 563-581
1) Abstract

This article explores how metaphors contribute to the formation of legitimacy in right-wing political communication on immigration policy in the 2005 British election campaign. It investigates the role played by metaphors in the formation of right-wing political legitimacy and the differences in how metaphor is used by the far and centre-right.

2.1) Publication LanguageEnglish
2.2) Type & Structure

19 pages
Background (laying out the problem of right wing and immigration)
Metaphor and rhetoric in political discourse on immigration
Findings (2 metaphors most frequently used in public discourse: Immigration is a disaster, Britain is a container)

2.3) Original Research or Not


3.1) Main Issues

- Metaphors constitute important part of legitimizing strategies of right and and centre right parties discourse in Britain in 2005
- The two main types identified are ‘natural disaster’ metaphors – predominantly relating to fluids – and ‘container’ metaphors
- The lexical analysis of the corpus shows that the centre-right discusses
‘immigration’ while the far right tends to discuss ‘immigrants’.

3.2) Media

18 press articles from the Migrationwatch UK - website that originated from The Daily Mail; supplemented by searchable electronic versions of The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail.

3.3) Media Genres


3.4) Key Theories

Teun van Dijk’s discourse analysis and critical metaphor analysis.

4.1) Relevance

High. It contributes to our knowledge of patterns of speaking of immigrants.

Keywordscontent, discourse, discrimination, language, representation, United Kingdom
TagsImmigrants, metaphors