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Unformatted text preview: sts often see wars as
sources of social change. Hassner, a contemporary philosopher and international relations expert, views war today as a dialectic conflict between
bourgeois and barbarian, the conflict between Jominian idea of technological advantage and terrorism. Hassner believes that bourgeois is best
represented by the American society and its war strategy, imbued with the
human rights ideas, aimed at minimising self-losses, civilian losses and
even the enemy losses. To achieve this aim they employ Rapid Decisive
Operations strategy which is possible because of significant technological
and information advantage. The barbarian, now equalled with the Muslim
extremists, not having such an advantage, must turn to terrorism. Hassner
also notices less spectacular exigencies of war, that is the necessity to
trespass the taboo of taking another human life. The taboo creates an inherent conflict between the heroic myth of war and the necessity of killing other human beings resulting in the rhetoric of enemy vilification.
The contemporary understanding of war is heavily influenced by
its media representation. This book analyses the discursive strategies used
in the press war reports cross culturally and across the time span of 20
years. The primary focus is on the role of conceptual metaphors in these
Discourse analysis is understood in terms following van Dijk’s
(1997) characterisation of the discipline as a field combining an analysis
of the interplay between cognition, language and social interaction.
Within this framework, discourse analysis may refer to either talk or text
analysis and differs in this respect from de Beaugrande – Dressler’s
(1981) distinction between the two. The present book concentrates on the
written language, in particular on linguistic realisations of underlying
conceptual metaphors in journalistic discourse. Language use is explained
in terms of cognitive processes, i.e. conceptual metaphors. This language Introduction 10 use is also linked to its social function1 in the particular context of the discourse of war reports. A brief presentation of such context elements as a
characteristics of the newspapers which provide the data; a description of
the military institutions that the countries, in which these newspapers
have been published, belong to; and an account of the participants of the
conflicts are given below.
The majority of the data for this conceptual-metaphor-informed
discourse analysis of war reports come from two national newspapers:
Polish Trybuna Ludu (Trybuna since 1990) and British The Times. The
war reports from these two newspapers have been gathered in two small
corpora.2 Both corpora consist of articles from the 1980s and from 2001.
They have been compiled specifically for the present study. The size of
The Times corpus is larger than that of Trybuna Ludu. According to Seymour-Ure (1996: 149),3 in 1983 The Times consisted of 28 pages while in
1992 of 47 pages. My own count of the pagination of 11 issues of April 1st
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