Successful collaboration begins with a shared language, hence the need for a glossary. This joint effort of contributors from several teams ensures, on the one hand, terminological and conceptual coherence across not only our theoretical approaches, but also the qualitative case studies and quantitative research conducted in OPPORTUNITIES. On the other hand, our glossary facilitates communication between the academic side of the project and the fieldwork conducted by NGOs, uniting our teams working from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Senegal.

For more information about the Structure and Objectives of the Glossary, click here...)

Inspired by conceptual metaphor theory and cultural narrative theory, metaphorology – i.e. the systematic study of metaphor – proceeds from the assumption that metaphors play a central role in processes of sense-making and shaping culture (see Lakoff and Johnson 2003). According to Ansgar Nünning, “[m]etaphors not only serve to structure how we understand cultural transformations, they also project ‘mini-narrations’ onto them, thereby providing ideologically charged plots and explanations of cultural and historical changes rather than neutral descriptions thereof” (Nünning 2009, 233; Nünning 2012, 62–63). The metaphor of crisis (see “Crisis”) serves as a perfect example of such a mininarration, as crises do not naturally occur in the world, but are always the result of discursive strategies by means of which we try to make sense of past events as leading to a current situation and now require “a decision about the further progress of the incident that has to be made amongst a number of possibilities” (Nünning and Sicks 2012, 15).

⇢ see also Crisis, Crisis narration, Narrative

References and further reading:

Lakoff, George, and Johnson, Mark. 2003. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago, IL and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Nünning, Ansgar. 2009. “Steps Towards a Metaphorology (and Narratology) of Crises: On the Functions of Metaphors as Figurative Knowledge and Mini-narrations.” In Metaphors Shaping Culture and Theory [= REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 25], edited by Herbert Grabes, Ansgar Nünning, and Sibylle Baumbach, 229–262. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.

Nünning, Ansgar. 2012. “Making Crises and Catastrophes – How Metaphors and Narratives Shape Their Cultural Life.” In The Cultural Life of Catastrophes and Crises, edited by Carsten Meiner and Kristin Veel, 59–88. Berlin and Boston, MA: De Gruyter.

Nünning, Ansgar, and Kai Marcel Sicks. 2012. “Turning Points as Metaphors and Mininarrations: Analysing Concepts of Change in Literature and Other Media.” In Turning Points Concepts and Narratives of Change in Literature and Other Media, edited by Ansgar Nünning and Kai Marcel Sicks, 1–28. Berlin and Boston, MA: De Gruyter.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 5, 8