Metaphors in the discursive construction of patriotism : The case of Hong Kong's constitutional reform debate

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-294
Journal / PublicationDiscourse and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


This article considers the role of metaphors in the discursive construction of the notion of patriotism in postcolonial Hong Kong. The article examines reports and opinion pieces from two local newspapers published between 1 October 2003 and 1 October 2004 concerning this issue of patriotism. The following questions are posed: (i) What are the different metaphors used in the discursive construction of patriotism? (ii) How do these metaphors vary according to the contrasting ideologies of the two newspapers? (iii) What role does the use of these metaphors have in the hegemonic struggle between the two newspapers over what is an appropriate conception of patriotism? The findings and possible answers to these questions will not only assist in gaining a better understanding of the role of language in constructing the identity of a patriotic Chinese, but will also contribute to an understanding of the politics and tensions between the local and the national under the unprecedented 'one country two systems' arrangement of postcolonial Hong Kong. Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications.

Research Area(s)

  • Constitutional reform, Democracy, Discursive construction, Hegemony, Hong Kong, Intercultural discourse, Metaphor, News discourse, Patriotism, Political discourse