The study investigates the conceptualizations and ideologies concerning family destruction metaphors in same-sex marriage debates. With data from the official websites of two opposing camps in Taiwan, we explore the ways conceptual metaphors can be adopted along with other linguistic resources to shape, redefine and negotiate new meanings of family. Drawing concepts from critical metaphor analysis (CMA), this study shows that the same conceptual metaphor can be used in different contexts to construct and promote seemingly binary ideologies. The adoption of family destruction metaphor suggests that family, ideally a complete, stable, and wholesome environment, is commonly accepted by campaigners as a destructible object worthy of protection. However, the different contextual use of this metaphor showed ideological differences in the ideal membership for marriage, the attackers and protectors of family, the victims of family destruction, and the causes and consequences of family destruction. By inviting the audience to make their own evaluation and interpretation of the metaphor, sensitive arguments can be made in a less direct but emotional manner to achieve the purpose of persuasion. Our results illustrate that conceptual metaphors can be used to reinforce conventional beliefs or introduce new values within a socially accepted frame.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 社會科學 (全部)