Edited By Frank Polzenhagen, Zoltan Kövecses, Stefanie Vogelbacher and Sonja Kleinke
“WTF is ‘helicopter parenting’ ”? Metaphor commenting and negotiation in an online debate at BBC Being a parent: Stefanie Vogelbacher
1. Metaphor in verbal interaction online
“WTF is ‘helicopter parenting’ ”? Metaphor commenting and negotiation in an online debate at BBC Being a parent
Stefanie Vogelbacher (Heidelberg)
Empirical research on metaphor in verbal interaction has been on the agenda for little more than a decade, e.g. in educational discourse (Cameron 2003), in conflict talk (Cameron 2010: 7–19), talk about depression (Semino 2008: 178–190), and in political dialogue (Musolff 2004: 146–158). What these studies have in common is a view of metaphor as a cognitive and communicative device, used for explanatory, argumentative, expressive and persuasive purposes. Employing a range of discourse-analytical tools, they share a focus on metaphor use in naturally occurring discourse, and typically take into account the following aspects:
■the communicative frame, in terms of both the situational and broader socio-cultural context;
■the functions of metaphor in discourse activities and the rhetorical effects of metaphor use;
■the impact of metaphor use on the dynamics of interaction.
The case study presented below adopts a discourse-analytical approach to metaphor use and its micro-level effects in online interaction. It offers an analysis of the metaphorical new-formation helicopter parent(ing), discussed by participants in an online debate on the BBC message board Being a parent. The aim of the study is to highlight the contextual and communicative factors that are made relevant by the discourse participants when they comment on the metaphor, and the way they position themselves locally when engaging in this discourse activity...
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