image of France’s “drôle de guerre”
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This paper sheds light on the sociopolitical polarisation reflected in the responses to a political metaphor, in French public discourse about covid-19. The aim is to uncover how polarisation may influence metaphorical representation of a political issue. The study focuses on the French President’s metaphor “we are at war”, in his announcement of the national lockdown. Responses to this “war” metaphor in public discourse are analysed following a combination of metaphor theories and argumentation theories. Results show that such responses transformed the ”war” metaphor into the “phoney war” metaphor for covid-19. This yielded four main arguments which 1.established causals links between covid-19 and policies, 2.partially endorsed the metaphor, 3.focused on the President’s discursive pattern, and 4.focused on the President’s status. It is argued that more research is needed into public reception to political discourse, in view of the arguments derived from resistance to metaphor.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: legitimisation ; metaphor ; polarisation ; Covid-19 ; resistance
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