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Foška Šajna, V.; Turnšek, T. (2017), 'Refugees are Like Water and Like a Shipment, the European Home Has to be Protected: Metaphor Analysis in Vecernji list and Slovenske novice' (Begunci so voda in pošiljka, evropski dom je treba zaščititi: analiza metafor v Večernjem listu in Slovenskih novicah), Journal for the Critique of Science, Imagination, and New Anthropology (Časopis za kritiko znanosti, domišljijo in novo antropologijo, ČKZ), Vol. XLV, No. 268, p. 143-162.

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Type of publication

Study - qualitative research

Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution



Journal for the Critique of Science, Imagination, and New Anthropology | Časopis za kritiko znanosti, domišljijo in novo antropologijo | ČKZ

Main Thematic Focus

Hate crime Incitement to hatred or violence

Target Population

Migrants Refugees & Asylum seekers

Key findings

The paper focuses on the metaphors used in selected texts from two daily newspapers: the Croatian “Večernji list” and Slovenian “Slovenske novice”. Authors goal was to show how the use of certain metaphors in both newspapers helped construct the social “reality” during the refugee crisis. The emphasis was on the metaphor (Lakoff and Johnson, 2015) as a "discursive phenomenon" (Fairclough, 1990) and not only as a linguistic phenomenon. The findings show that reporting of the newspapers mainly concerned the security aspect, while the humanitarian aspect was difficult to detect. The discourse in the texts was dominated by the “security discourse”. The use of metaphors, which the authors analysed in the empirical part of the paper, helped in the formation of this type of (security) discourse.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

The paper is based on a "qualitative methodology of critical analysis of discourse". The research question was: How important are the repeated metaphorical patterns in texts concerning refugees in the Croatian and Slovenian cases?

Sample details and representativeness

Authors focused on the metaphors used in articles that were available in digital form, published in two months, i.e. October 2015 and February 2016. Sample: 53 articles from Večernji list (CRO) and 64 articles from Slovenske novice (SI). Articles were identified with keywords search (e.g. "refugee crisis") and then a further selection was made in order to include only "hard news" (Danesi, 2009), i.e. news with very little comment, that help readers make intelligent decisions about an issue and establishing positions.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.