Language and Culture
Language is a symbolic mode of communication that pervades human culture and human thought. From the Saphir-Whorp hypothesis that language influences how we perceive and experience the world, to contemporary theories of metaphors underlying our thinking about different domains of life, language is central to understanding human culture. Prior to beginning this discussion, read Chapter 4: The Social and Cultural Construction of Reality, and watch this TED Talk Metaphorically Speaking by James Geary. Beginning on page 173, your textbook discusses work by linguist George Lakoff on metaphors used in political discourse. For this discussion, define what a conceptual metaphor is and the specific metaphors discussed by Lakoff. Then, discuss whether this makes you listen to political discourse differently and if so, how. Based on Geary’s discussion on the power of metaphors, in what way is there a potential pitfall of not recognizing the metaphors used in public discourse?