Of War and Water: Metaphors and Citizenship Agency in the Newspapers Reporting the 9/11 Catalan Protest in 2012

Enric Castelló, Arantxa Capdevila


Metaphors, organized in superdomains and articulating scenarios, are a powerful tool in framing a given social or political conflict. This article studies the use of metaphors in the reports of the mass demonstration held in Barcelona on September 11, 2012, in favor of Catalan self-determination. The authors analyzed 917 extracts from the main Spanish and Catalan newspapers. The results show that the most frequent superdomains were nature-weather and war-fortress-battle schemes, and they were used to construct different scenarios about the meaning of the political event. The research reveals major differences in metaphor use between the Catalan and the Spanish dailies covering the demonstration. The authors conclude that metaphor scenarios articulated a diverse discourse about the influence of citizenship agency on the political process for greater autonomy or even the independence of the region.


citizens’ agency, democracy, demonstrations, metaphor, nationalism, political conflict

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