Metaphorical Representations of Migrants in the Italian and British Press During a Time of Crisis

  •  Assunta Caruso    


Metaphors have a way of influencing the way we feel and think about political and societal issues. The goal of this paper is to examine the metaphorical portrayal of immigrants who entered Italy and the UK between January and December 2011, a time when both the economic and migration crisis occurred. The study follows a mixed-method approach, combining corpus linguistic and critical metaphor analyses in order to identify the metaphorical expressions employed by the press—and the politicians they quote—in the construction of migration discourse. The underlying conceptual metaphor of each metaphorical expression was identified and the findings have shown that the conceptual representation of migrants is centred around the following source domains: natural disaster, container, invasion and animal, with a strong predominance of the first. The discourse focuses on identity-related concerns as they relate to constructs of the ‘other’ and how immigrants are portrayed as a threat and risk. Future research will investigate the metaphorical representation of intra- versus extra-European migrants and will consider both routine and other ‘migration crisis’ periods.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

Journal Metrics

Google-based Impact Factor (2021): 1.43

h-index (July 2022): 45

i10-index (July 2022): 283

h5-index (2017-2021): 25

h5-median (2017-2021): 37

Learn more