Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution grants citizenship to every child born on US soil. While most Americans think this 150 year old formulation is permanent, it is actually open to change. We explore the legal debate over the current formulation of US citizenship. Using the research design of the exemplar case study, we undertake a conceptual metaphor-based critical discourse analysis of three contending contemporary legal stances regarding US citizenship. In the light of four current court cases, some legal theorists argue that the formulation is both undemocratic and inadequate, and should be amended to address 21st century national concerns. Others argue to retain the current formulation in spite of these concerns. Our study reveals that the rival stances are argued in terms of irreconcilable conceptual metaphors, and each legal stance in itself is deficient to address these current concerns.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): citizenship; conceptual metaphor; critical discourse analysis; legal discourse
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