Mapping metaphorical frames of U.S. strategic defense

Research output: Other contributionOtherpeer-review


This research case shows how to use conceptual metaphor theory to perform an interpretive analysis of linguistic data. After briefly describing conceptual metaphor theory, it covers core issues of research design, including: specifying variables, choosing cases, and building a database of texts. It then details a four-step process for conceptual metaphor analysis: (a) identifying metaphorically used words and phrases in data; (b) grouping them into metaphors; (c) sorting the metaphors into coherent sets called “frames”; and finally (d) creating diagrams to illustrate the frames and show how they shape larger discourses. The case illustrates each step with data drawn from a study of strategic defense policymaking in the United States. It concludes with some practical suggestions for conducting metaphor research in world politics.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputArticle
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781526462220
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameSAGE Research Methods Cases


  • Metaphor analysis
  • Foreign Policy Analysis
  • interpretive research methods
  • semantic networks

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