Migration, Metaphor and Myth in Media Representations: The Ideological Dichotomy of "Them" and "Us"

Arcimaviciene L., BAĞLAMA S. H.

SAGE OPEN, vol.8, no.2, 2018 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/2158244018768657
  • Journal Name: SAGE OPEN
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: metaphor, EU migration, media discourse, legitimization, delegitimization, myth, DISCOURSE
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


By focussing on the dichotomized metaphorical strategy and myth creation, this study aims to analyze how the U.S. and the European Union (EU) media respond to the entrenched metaphor of migration and refugee crisis. In this respect, the U.S. and the EU media sources covering the time period from 2015 to 2016 were collected and analyzed in the theoretical framework of conceptual metaphor theory and critical metaphor analysis. By applying the metaphor identification procedure, it has been determined that most of the media narratives contribute to further developing the central bias of migration by means of metaphorical delegitimization that is discursively construed through the binary opposition between them and us. The metaphorical representation has been grouped into two kinds of ideologically represented story lines: (a) the myth of dehumanization, realized through the metaphors of Objects and Commodities; and (b) the myth of moral authority, realized through the metaphors of Natural Phenomena, Crime, and Terrorism. The findings have shown that most of the media narratives both delegitimize and stigmatize the status of a migrant by deeper entrenching the outsider stereotype and, therefore, create the general feelings of instability and intolerance within the EU.