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Construction of Feminine Identity through Metaphor in Facebook Discourses


 

One of the ways through which people construct their identities and others’ identities is through use of conceptual metaphors. Conceptual metaphors are not just elements of language but are elements of thought as well and as such they both reflect the inner feelings of language users and describe the world. The purpose of this study was to interpret how feminine identities are constructed through use of metaphors among Kenyan Facebook users. The study was premised on the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Kovecses, 2008) a development of Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) work on metaphors. The study population comprised of sixty-five metaphors collected from 100 articles that were posted on Facebook between January, 20017 and May, 2018. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the texts with required metaphorical expressions and saturated sampling technique was employed to get adequate linguistic metaphors for analysis. The study reported that Kenyan females are mostly negatively constructed by the metaphors. They are portrayed as evil and dangerous beings who do not hesitant to cause harm to their male counterparts. They are represented as dangerous and exploitative.


Keywords

Metaphor, source-domain, target-domain, cross-domain mappings
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  • Construction of Feminine Identity through Metaphor in Facebook Discourses

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Abstract


One of the ways through which people construct their identities and others’ identities is through use of conceptual metaphors. Conceptual metaphors are not just elements of language but are elements of thought as well and as such they both reflect the inner feelings of language users and describe the world. The purpose of this study was to interpret how feminine identities are constructed through use of metaphors among Kenyan Facebook users. The study was premised on the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Kovecses, 2008) a development of Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) work on metaphors. The study population comprised of sixty-five metaphors collected from 100 articles that were posted on Facebook between January, 20017 and May, 2018. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the texts with required metaphorical expressions and saturated sampling technique was employed to get adequate linguistic metaphors for analysis. The study reported that Kenyan females are mostly negatively constructed by the metaphors. They are portrayed as evil and dangerous beings who do not hesitant to cause harm to their male counterparts. They are represented as dangerous and exploitative.


Keywords


Metaphor, source-domain, target-domain, cross-domain mappings