30th November 2007

Metaphor and Metonymy in Criminal Justice

Wednesday 5th December, 15.00-17.00

Room T206, Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow



This paper considers the potential of metaphor and metonymy analysis for the study of criminal justice policy. Metaphor and metonymy are commonly thought of merely as figurative language used to convey an idea in vivid terms, to get across an unfamiliar concept using a familiar one, to make a shorthand reference. The paper draws on advancements in linguistic theory (e.g. Conceptual Metaphor Theory) to show how their role is much more fundamental, shaping not just the images we have in our mind, but the basic knowledge we have of the world. Two major policy documents, The MacLean Report on Serious Violent and Sexual Offenders (2000) and Women Offenders: A Safer Way (1998), provide the texts for review. A study of metaphors and metonymies in them reveals an underlying and implicit flow of ideas about gender, sex and violence, science, and legal judgement.

Open to all.