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It is completely ok to not be in the fighting spirit mood all the time: Metaphors and normality in Swedish cancer talk
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages. (MEPAC)
Lund University. (MEPAC)
2016 (English)In: 6th Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines Conference, CADAAD 2016: Book of Abstracts / [ed] Marco Venuti, Antonio Fruttaldo, University of Catania , 2016, 118-119 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Communication in palliative cancer care contexts involving health care professionals, patients and relatives takes place in an arena that merges medical expertise, lay understanding, ‘helpers’ and ‘sufferers’. Professional and private discourses co-exist in conversations about medical as well as existential matters. Such communication often draws on metaphors – conscious metaphors aiming to render the ungraspable graspable and unconscious metaphors which are so conventionalized that they are no longer perceived as metaphors.

But incurable cancer diagnoses often entail emotional hypersensitivity and therefore unpredictable responses to language use (Sandgren et al. 2010). While metaphors have the potential to be empowering, they can also give rise to feelings like fear, helplessness and guilt, which is why particular attention has been devoted to the use of violence and battle metaphors in cancer talk (Semino et al. 2015; Hawkins 1999).

The overarching goal of our study Metaphors in palliative cancer care (MEPAC), a Sweden-based three- year interdisciplinary research project involving linguists and health care researchers, is to strengthen the scientific foundation for health care professionals’ understanding and use of metaphors in Swedish palliative cancer care. We investigate the use of metaphors in personal blogs written by patients as well as relatives and in interviews with patients, relatives and health care professionals, carried out within the frames of the Centre for Collaborative Palliative Care, Linnaeus University, Sweden. The project is inspired by the UK-based study Metaphor in end-of-life care (MELC) and combines qualitative metaphor analysis with quantitative analysis using corpus tools adapted for Swedish.

Our presentation highlights the blog data. We focus on how the use of metaphors sheds light on what is perceived as normal when living with incurable cancer and discuss whether the use of metaphorical expressions can be related to the degree of normality that is attributed to the described phenomenon. We also offer examples from our material of possible negotiation of or resistance to such normality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Catania , 2016. 118-119 p.
Keyword [en]
death and dying, cancer blog, coping strategies, metaphor
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy Specific Languages
Research subject
Humanities, Swedish; Health and Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-59703OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-59703DiVA: diva2:1063202
Conference
6th Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines Conference, CADAAD 2016
Note

The project is funded by The Kamprad Family Foundation.

Available from: 2017-01-09 Created: 2017-01-09 Last updated: 2017-01-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf