Chaban N., Bain J., Stats K.
Крайстчерч (Новая Зеландия), Мельбурн (Австралия) “POLITICAL FRANKENSTEIN” OR “FISCAL GARGANTUA”?: METAPHORS OF PERSONIFICATION IN THE AUSTRALASIAN NEWS REPORTS OF THE EU ENLARGEMENT
Чабан Н., Бэйн Дж., Стэтс К. «Политический Франкенштейн» или «финансовый Гаргантюа»?: Метафоры персонификации при освещении расширения Евросоюза в новостях стран Австралазии. В настоя-шем исследовании на основе методологии Дж. Лакоффа и М. Джонсона. анализируются концептуальные метафоры в СМИ Австралии и Новой Зеландии за два месяца 2004 года. Как показал анализ материала, доминирующие метафоры в СМИ обеих стран относятся к сферам-источникам «Клуб» и «Семья». Также регулярно использовались метафоры болезни и романтических отношений. Авторы отмечают распространенность метафор со сферами-источниками «Игра» и «Покупки» в новозеландских СМИ и метафор со сферами-источниками «Театр» и «Пробуждение» в СМИ Австралии.
Introduction. Fully understanding the European Union (EU) is believed to be a key problem facing the EU and its citizens. Jean-Christophe Filori, spokesman for the Commissioner for Enlargement, for example, has argued that «[t]he problem is that the EU is not understood, and there is a need to bridge the gap between the EU and its citizens». Margot Wallstrom, EU Commission Vice-President, reiterated this idea, identifying the lack of a “common narrative” about the very nature of Europe: “the real problem in Europe is that there is no agreement or understanding about what Europe is for and where it is going”. To address the issues of the EU’s “democratic” and “communication deficits”, a new communication strategy, also known as «Plan-D» (where “D” stands for dialogue, debate, and democracy), has been devised by EU policy-makers. Yet, «the D-Plan» has neglected one key avenue for a better understanding of the EU, namely, an account of the Union’s external images and perceptions. Arguably, seeing oneself through the eyes of Others may be instrumental in identifying the Self. Consequently, this paper is intended as an information breakthrough for EU scholars, decision-makers and the general public interested in the EU’s external images and their implications for the Union’s developments and interactions worldwide.
Average European citizens are believed to know little about the EU of which their countries are members, apart from what they read in the press or watch on television news, and it is argued that this ignorance is likely to be greater amongst outsiders. In Australasia - the EU’s ‘Other’ that is the focus of this paper - the majority of information on the EU comes solely from the news media. Using the cognitive tool of conceptual metaphor (understood in the tradition of George Lakoff and
Mark Johnson), this paper considers a case study of the EU’s enlargement images in the media discourses of two Australasian countries -Australia and New Zealand. The abundant metaphors located in the media discourses of the two countries are arguably employed by the local media to chisel the images of the EU as an important foreign counterpart to Australasia. Vivid, powerful and effective, the metaphorical categorisations of this distant Other are believed to accentuate some of its conceptual dimensions, and neglect others in order to persuade the local news audience of a certain image of the EU.
This paper investigates a particular case in the news media representations of a significant Other - the conceptual metaphor of personification. This conceptual metaphor is observed to underlie a significant number of linguistic metaphors located in the news texts of Australia and New Zealand reporting the EU in general, and EU enlargement in particular. This paper argues that the conceptualisation of the enlarging EU in the public Australasian discourses is influenced by the metaphorical categorisation of personification which cements a specific imagery and its long-lasting evaluations. It is assumed that the images resulting from the dominant metaphoric categorisation - which are widely and frequently disseminated by mass media in a variety of forms - have serious and genuine implications for the world of foreign affairs, at both the general public and regional policy-maker levels. According to Joep Leerssen, «though the belief is irrational, the impact of that belief is anything but unreal».
THE METAPHOR OF PERSONIFICATION. In the words of Sofia Brostrom, “images are extremely rich and cohesive units of information which convey all their information at once and which are not easily taken apart”. The qualitative analysis of imagery happens through studies of literal and metaphorical representations, with metaphorical categorisations being particularly compelling in cases where the recipients of information do not have strong opinions beforehand. With most foreign affairs issues seemingly remote, invisible, unattainable, and, thus largely irrelevant, metaphorical thought is argued to be most commonly used by the general public in comprehending international politics. Thus, to show how the complex foreign policy concept of the “EU enlargement” is expressed in the Australasian public discourses, this paper has systemically scrutinised the use of the figurative linguistic device of metaphor by the producers of international news in the region.
Claimed by Jacques Derrida to be central to philosophy and thought, the metaphor became a “star of discourse in the XXth century”. Theories investigating the phenomenon of metaphor have abounded since this time. This paper employs a “cognitive approach”, and more specifically the notion of “conceptual metaphor”, in defining and understanding metaphors, as articulated by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. In this approach, the conceptual metaphor is a complex process in
which ‘webs’ of associated meanings from a source domain are mapped onto other ‘webs’ to highlight features of a second ‘web’, the target domain. This mapping routinely and transparently invokes and reassigns the cognitive structures of source domains, with the logical and cultural entailments of the conceptual correspondences being automatically transferred [. For example, the abstract subject of LOVE (target) is often understood in terms of the very concrete subject matter of WAR (source): “He is known for his many rapid conquests’’, “She fought for him, but his mistress won out’, “He fled from her advances’’, “She is besieged by suitors”, etc.. The conceptual mapping that is applied to the given source-target pairings produces a conceptual metaphor - in the example above it was the conceptual metaphor LOVE IS WAR. In other words, conceptual metaphors are “semantic mappings that take the form of TARGET DOMAIN IS/AS SOURCE DOMAIN”. These mappings are argued to motivate and frame everyday written and spoken metaphoric linguistic expressions.
Many thinkers, including the prominent pairing of Lakoff and Johnson have highlighted this structuring aspect of conceptual metaphors. In this regard, the notion of conceptual metaphors parallels the notions developed in previous research, namely “fertile metaphors”, “constitutive analogies”, “scientific paradigms”, and “root metaphors”. The structuring aspect of the conceptual (or “root”) metaphor was described by Pepper: “A man desiring to understand the world looks about for a clue to its comprehension. He pitches upon some area of common-sense fact and tries if he cannot understand other areas in terms of this one. This original idea becomes then his basic analogy or root metaphor. He describes as best he can the characteristics of this area, or, if you will, discriminates its structure. A list of its structural characteristics becomes his basic concepts of explanation and description. We call them a set of categories. In terms of these categories he proceeds to study all other areas of fact whether uncriticized or previously criticized. He undertakes to interpret all facts in terms of these categories.”
Systematic accounts of clusters of linguistic metaphors reveal the metaphors on the conceptual level. The latter underlie the former, providing mental structures to interpret a phenomenon under categorisation. This paper limits its analysis to the conceptual metaphors of personification and their structures tracked in Australasian news texts reporting EU enlargement. The paper uses the definition of the metaphors of personification formulated by Lakoff and Johnson; that is, metaphors in which the physical object is specified as being a person.
Metaphors of personification have been a focus of scholarly attention through out history. They were observed by the Roman rhetorician Quintilian as far back as the 1st century AD, when he stated that the metaphor could transfer from the inanimate realm to the animate. Much later, Lakoff and Johnston adopted and developed the notion of per-
sonification in their theory of conceptual metaphors, noting that personification metaphors allow us to “comprehend a wide variety of experiences with nonhuman entities in terms of human motivations, characteristics, and activities.” The aspects of human existence are countless, and thus the cognitive process of metaphoric categorisation in terms of personification is extremely diverse. Clusters of linguistic metaphors produced by this conceptual metaphor could describe, for instance, some culturally salient phenomena typical for the socialisation of individuals (e.g. war, family life, romance, etc), or they may closely relate to the metaphors embodying universal aspects of human/bodily experience (e.g. physical and emotional well-being of an individual as well as body-sustenance).
Raymond Gozzi (1999) and George Lakoff (1991) have both argued that the metaphor A STATE IS A PERSON is one of the major metaphors underlying foreign policy concepts. When described by this particular metaphor, states are seen as having inherent dispositions and this leads to the description of states as “peaceful or aggressive, responsible or irresponsible, industrious or lazy.” We extrapolate that not only individual states, but other international entities (e.g. the EU, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, etc.) could be conceptualised as a ‘person’ engaged in social relations within a world community. This study clearly recognises that the EU is not a state; nevertheless, it registers that the media and political discourses inside and outside the Union extensively compare the EU to a state in their literal and metaphorical categorisations. Indeed, Manners and Whitman claimed that the EU is generally addressed and understood by its external partners in a capacity similar to that of a state. This perception is attributed to the EU’s complex and globally unprecedented identity case. Trapped between supranational ambitions and intergovernmental negotiations, run by an assemblage of wide-ranging political institutions, it is difficult to comprehend by both journalists reporting the EU to internal and external audiences and by the local and international news consumers. Correspondingly, the metaphorical categorisations located in this study often describe the EU as a ‘person’ who lives in a ‘neighbourhood’ and has ‘neighbours’, ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’, it participates in social interactions, i.e. ‘club’, ‘family’ or ‘romantic relations’, and activities, i.e. ‘war’, ‘competition’, ‘schooling’, ‘gambling’, etc. Such conceptualisations are familiar and immediately recognised, thus their use in media discourses make a difficult subject easily and readily consumable by journalists and audiences alike.
Conceptual metaphors are believed to have their own structures which are used in persuasive discourses - namely those of the media or politics - to imply certain conclusions and to affect emotions. Arguably, metaphors of personification are exceptionally powerful in this context. These metaphors assist news audiences to comprehend and in-
terpret the complex and vague concepts of international politics (the EU in our case) in familiar, everyday terms, that is, in terms of human interactions and existence. Ultimately, metaphors of personification may not only provide a way of thinking about complex concepts and actors of the foreign policy, but also a way of acting towards them. Media descriptions of international activities in terms of actions performed by states as ‘real’ personalities prompts news audiences to both form the images of their countries’ Others and attach emotional attitudes to those images in the most efficient way. In emergency situations, those emotive predispositions may lead to audiences’ direct feedback to the policy-makers involved in foreign affairs (e.g. anti-war protests arising after the appearance of revealing images in the media as happened in the Vietnam War and the more recent Iraq War; Muslim public protests happening around the word after the publication of a caricature on religious matters; public actions in Russia following a 24-hour television newscasts of the images of the Beslan tragedy; charity initiatives occurring around the globe after the broadcast of the devastating Asian Tsunami impact; etc.).
Two leading research questions guide the investigations of this paper:
RQ1: What images of the enlarging EU were conveyed to the general public by means of the conceptual metaphor of personification in Australian and New Zealand news media discourses?
RQ2: How did the deep conceptual structures of personification metaphors contribute to the categorisations of the EU in the two Australasian public discourses and what are their envisioned consequences for the EU’s dialogue with Australia and New Zealand?
DATA. This paper performs a discursive inter-textual analysis of the dominant and secondary distribution metaphorical categorisations framed by a conceptual metaphor of personification employed in the Australian and New Zealand news texts reporting EU enlargement. The dominant metaphors were defined as those which were used with relatively greater frequency and which appeared in a greater variety of forms. In contrast, metaphors that appeared less frequently, and with less variety of expression, were labelled as metaphors of secondary distribution.
Australia and New Zealand are two neighbouring OECD countries in the Pacific. Both countries feature numerous historic and cultural links to Europe in the past and in the present; namely, extensive connections with the UK, a dramatic history of involvement in the two World Wars in Europe, and perceptible European profiles of immigration and tourism. In addition, both countries have substantial economic links to the EU - the 25-member EU is among the top three leading trading partners for both countries, and is one of the largest investors in the Australasian economies. Yet, despite this commonality of associations
with the EU, the Australian and New Zealand political attitudes towards the EU differ. The Australian government’s alignment with the US position in international politics sometimes opposes the EU’s international stance, which is, in contrast, often supported by the New Zealand government. The most visible examples of the differing international stands of the two Australasian countries are their actions towards the Kyoto Protocol ratification and the war in Iraq (two international areas in which the EU and the US are seen to have opposite positions also). In addition, some internal policies of the two Pacific nations echo the internal developments of the USA (in the Australian case) and the EU (in the New Zealand case). These policies primarily relate to state welfare (New Zealand shares welfare concerns typical for some EU states) and human rights issues (Australia, for example, did not support the linking of human rights and trade in a Framework Agreement with the EU that was ultimately aborted in 1997). With these two differing political paradigms at play in Australasia, this paper attempts to identify and compare the metaphoric categorisations of personification employed by the reputable, main-stream news media of the two countries to present EU enlargement.
The largest and the most contentious accession in EU history of the eight ex-communist countries and two small Mediterranean states into the Union on May 1 2004 was, inevitably, the most visible EU event reported in 2004 in both Australia and New Zealand news media. Drawing on the results of the project entitled Public, Elite and Media Perceptions of the European Union in the Asia Pacific Region: A Comparative Study, this paper content-analysed ten newspapers in the two countries and four prime time newscasts on Australia’s and New Zealand’s most popular television networks in the ‘acute’ period of EU enlargement coverage - April-June 2004. Enlargement was found to be a prominent issue across the entire year; this ‘acute’ period centers in on the actual event, as well as including some of the pre-enlargement promotion and post-celebration analysis.
The five New Zealand newspapers were found to have published 53 news items on the subject of EU enlargement in April-June 2004. The Australian sample published 102 articles on the topic during this period. In both countries these figures constituted almost 9% of the total coverage of the EU in 2004. The television sample was 9 news items for New Zealand (or 41% of all monitored television news on the EU in 2004) and 5 for Australia (or 33% of all monitored television news).
Four comprehensive sets of metaphoric expressions located in the print media were compiled -- 219 metaphorical instances from New Zealand newspapers, 36 from New Zealand television news, 616 from Australian newspaper articles, and 31 from Australian television news covering the various aspects of the EU enlargement. Linguistic metaphors clustered around the conceptual metaphor of personification con-
stituted approximately 38% of sampled metaphors in Australia and 32% in New Zealand. The television news sample of metaphors featured personification categorisations in 58% of all metaphoric examples in Australia and 47% in New Zealand.
RESULTS. METAPHORS OF PERSONIFICATION: DOMINANT DISTRIBUTION. Arguably, the personification metaphors were operational in cementing two media frames of the enlarging EU in the Australasian news media. Both of these frames were conceptually grounded in a socio-cultural experience of human groupings, more specifically, CLUB and FAMILY. The former concept was introduced through the EU-15 descriptions as “a cultural club of Christian or post-Christian nations”; or as “Club Euro’’ with the new member states - the ‘newcomers’ - seen to be entering, arriving, being admitted or taken in. The latter concept was extensively introduced in metaphors of “the larger European family’ into which the new member states were integrated.
Club. In the scenario “CLUB”, the old EU-15 members were represented as picky rich members of a highly selective and exclusive club, while the new members were described as poor newcomers begging for access. The old members of the EU-15 were often depicted as a “rich man's club” of “privileged, highly affluent countries”. This club’ was conceptualised as a desirable space that new members “crave’ to enter and would patiently wait in a “queue” or on a “list”, “lining up” to access the so-called “garden of Europe”. Before they "qualify” or are deemed “fit’ for such membership, outsiders were heard "banging on the door’. As such, they were seen to be disrupting “the cosy days of a close and like-minded European club’’ while the ‘‘senior’ members and “old timers’ (e.g. Germany, France, UK) were inside “fretting”.
While the new member states were involved in a “struggle to be admitted’, the old EU-15 was depicted as a door keeper. In an exclusive space, metaphors of doors have the potential to be both positive (opening) and negative (closed). In the Australasian media, the latter was by far the more prominent version. The EU was seen as opening its doors to the new members - “but not too far’. Rather than “welcoming [entrants] with open arms” they were seen as “welcoming them with the door half open’. Occasionally an inclusive space, “welcoming]’ and “throw[ing] open its doors to newcomers from Eastern Europe”, the EU was more frequently painted as an exclusive space, or as a heavily guarded “fortress” looking for any opportunity to “restrict” or “deny” access to the newcomers - actions which caused one commentator to ask if the EU would “ever be willing to open its doors’’ to 60 million of Turkish Muslims.
Family. Just as the conceptual metaphor of EU as a CLUB encompasses an inherent duality - some members being inside while others are kept out -the scenario “FAMILY” contains a similar ‘internal opposition’. More specifically, the old EU-15 members were often conceptualised as older, wiser and richer relatives in this ‘family’, dichotomised to their younger, poorer distant ‘cousins’ of the new member states who sometimes lacked sophistication. The former were seen in the position of accommodating the new relatives in the “European common house”. The Australian news presented the accession of the Eastern European states as their “return to [the] European family”. The new member states were seen to be “returning home” after “wandering in the east”. Images of a family were reinforced by the images of a warm and welcoming space and indeed, there was “joy as east [came] in from cold”. Members were seen to be welcomed back with fervour, as they were “embraced’ by their older cousins.
With the “youthful political systems” of the prodigal new member states however, there was an implied need for a parental figure. Some European politicians auditioned for this role -- former German chancellor Helmut Kohl was labelled as “one of the fathers of European reunification” while French President Jacques Chirac “berated” the new nations in a parental fashion for their backing of the United States and Britain in Iraq conflict.
The newly reunited relations were not, however, a close knit family. In fact, it was suggested that “when the leaders of the new 25-nation EU posed for their next family photo’ even experienced diplomats [would] struggle to put names to some of the faces.” They were described as “a motley collection of the good, the bad and in some cases the ugly.” This “family’ must have surely been disappointed to learn that their family ‘inheritance’ was little more than a “series of territorial and ethnic disputes”.
Similarly to the Australian news, New Zealand reports also extensively framed enlargement in terms of family relations. While New Zealand television reporting showed the warm welcome that the new member states received - to the extent that parties were thrown in their honour - newspaper commentators were more wary, instead predicting that future problems awaited the “enlarged European Union family’. References to the EU as a family invoked descriptions of the new member states as the “poorer cousins” vying for a place at an already-overcrowded “table”. “Anything but a happy family’, the EU-15 was seen welcoming the new member in a “chilly manner’. Fretting over the possibility of a flow of migrants from the Eastern European countries, EU-15 governments “hastily erected restrictions against the incoming members of their European family”. Commentators also predicted that future problems awaited the “enlarged European Union family’.
The members of the newly expanded EU ‘family’ was described by both Pacific countries’ media as having a variety of physical problems. The old member states were implicitly compared to geriatrics in need of a boost of energy, which many believed could be provided by the ‘youthful’ new member states. The “old timers’’ themselves suffering from economic “sclerosis’’ and “political paralysis”, were seen to be in need of “revival”, “resuscitation” and a "boost”. The new member states were considered to be an “infusion of new blood’ and “energy “invigorating” and "strengthening” the EU. The impact of EU’s largest expansion was seen to “inject some much-needed energy” into the EU zone economies” -- a “lifeline” “strengthening” the Union as a whole and its new members individually.
Yet, the Australian media prognosis was not completely positive. In the opinion of the Australian media “more pain lies ahead” for the EU member states. The EU was described as “weak economically, and weak on the world stage” and said to be “suffering from growing pains’’ as a result of the enlargement. These sufferings were exacerbated by the fact that enlargement coincided with “the final throes of a painful debate about the Union's new constitution”. The enlargement process was sometimes portrayed as a premature baby - “the birth of the world's biggest trading bloc” had come “too soon”. This creature was sometime seen as ugly and even artificially conceived - the EU was compared to “political Frankenstein”.
Moreover, the Eastern European newcomers were shown as suffering from “all sorts of hangover problems of the communist era” immediately after independence. After a “shock therapy’ treatment by market-oriented reforms, the eight ex-communist states have “gradually revived their economies”. For example, Bulgaria was once dubbed the “sick man of Europe”, but in its progress towards joining the EU it was seen to be slowly revived. Slovakia’s pre-enlargement economic reforms were shown as causing the state to degenerate, but timely speeded-up reforms stopped the destructive process. But they were also learning that “there’s still a lot of pain associated with joining the EU”. Moreover, the older EU members seemed to possess a contagious disease, threatening to “infect the new with their political squeamishness and discord”.
New Zealand news focused mostly on the enlargement outcomes for the EU-15, and its diagnosis was largely gloomy. Old member states were seen as most likely to “suffer from Enlargement” in terms of rising unemployment and an overloaded social-welfare system. Their prosperity was seen as being “at threat, haemorrhaged by an exodus of jobs to the East”. Pre-enlargement support for enlargement on behalf of the established members was seen as “fading fast”; the EU-15 was giving birth to a baby which was “premature and far too big a bite”. With the old members’ economies perceived as weak, the fear of excessive im-
migration could cause Europe to “miss out on its biggest chance for a shot of energy in years”. Moreover, with 10 “fledgling” new members incorporated in to the EU body, it was feared that the enlarged Union would wind up in “paralysis”.
Metaphors of well-being include images of food and consumption which, it transpired, were intimately related to human well-being. The EU was compared to a “fiscal Gargantua’’, yet, even with this vast size, “digesting the latest batch of members” was likely to take the EU some time. If it recovered from its most recent meal, the Union’s possible future consumption of Turkey would be the “toughest of all to digest’, although some also thought that Russia promised “the biggest and most indigestible lump that the EU might ever try to swallow”. Thus, the huge task of integrating the 10 new members was predicted to “dampen any appetite" for further growth.
While the future of Europe was “not a pretty sight” according to some Australian observers, others felt that the enlargement had given the EU a “new face” worth celebrating. Enlargement was “dramatically altering the profile of the union”. This “changing face of Europe” was seen likely to result in “considerably enhanced” business environments and market opportunities. After its “facelift’, it was suggested that the EU might be able to find work on the global catwalk, acting as a model for other “regional power blocs in Asia, the Pacific, South America and Africa”.
In the past, Australia was said to be “in a menages a trois’’ with America and Asia, while Europe could not even “get in the bedroom”. It had been hard for Europe to “get a look-in” under the shadow of Asia, but now Europe had become “too big” for Australia “to ignore”. The made-over “newest EU debutants” with their business potential were “wetting the corporate lips of Australian business”. The new member states were seen as becoming an “even closer and a more attractive partner for Australia in political, economic and cultural domains”. Little wonder then that Australian politicians like foreign minister Alexander Downer and shadow foreign minister Kevin Rudd were on a postenlargement mission to “court Europe”.
The scenario of romantic relations was also used to describe the attitudes between old and new member states. Prior to the enlargement, the Central and Eastern European states were portrayed as pursuing romantic relations with a sometimes reluctant EU. The Australian press reporting enlargement employed the metaphor of romantic relations abundantly. Proclamations such as “Europe’s getting reunited” and “[t]oday, Europe unites”, implied the celebration of marriage, or remarriage, as the case may be. Keen to consummate the union and start a family, the new members were looking into “adopting the euro”. Moreover, the EU was honouring its commitment to Russia as it entered a new affair with Eastern and Central Europe. Russia, however,
was left with conflicting feelings, yearning to be included in Europe’s wide embrace and fearing being left behind.
The new members were said to “have embraced the free market more enthusiastically than their western colleagues” with Hungary in particular a very keen suitor for the EU. It was said to be “follow[ing] its heart back into Europe”, and promoted itself as a “stable partner’ whose “enthusiasm’’ for the EU was hard to miss. In the Polish case, the EU private sector was on a romantic prowl, “eyeing up the lucrative opportunities presented by Poland's large, educated workforce and a growing economy”. Yet, this European affair was not presented in the Australian media as a smooth one. Europe’s ability to “find enthusiasm for new prospects, and curiosity about each other’ was questioned by some observers. While the new member states were “determined to maintain their partnership with the EU”, the old member states were less committed to the relationship. The EU-15 was shown “warmly embracing]” the leaders of nine of the new EU members but "giv[ing] a cold shoulder to the 10th, Cyprus”; the Czech Republic was noted to have “endured a strained relationship with Europe” in the past. Ongoing political instability in the new members made them “difficult negotiating partners”. The newcomers were also noted to be partners of “unequal standing’’ -- The Economist was cited by an Australian newspaper as saying “it will be decades before the new entrants become as rich as their partners to the west”. The wannabe-states were sometimes seen as engaged in romantic squabbles with each other en-route to joining the EU. For example 2007-enlargement candidates, Bulgaria and Romania, were seen as “lobbying for divorce” - Bulgaria wanting its negotiations to be “decoupled from Romania”.
The New Zealand press did not prioritise this metaphor of romantic relations, but once the metaphor was used, it presented the relations mostly in negative terms. Before enlargement, the poor and politically unstable Eastern European states were “kept at arm's length’’ from the old EU. After enlargement, “newstrains’’ between the rich west Europeans and the poorer east Europeans were observed. The EU ‘Casanova’ was seen not as giving kisses but instead “empty promises”.
This problematic relationship was marked by “rows” and "spats”, “squabbling over budgets and subsidies” and “tackling looming disputes over power and money” in what seemed like an “endless bunfight’ despite the recent reunion. While the EU is often said to be using ‘carrots’ as incentives to encourage the necessary reform for full membership, here it was said to be “taunting’’ the new member states with the promise of full unification. There was also in-fighting within the new member states as a result of the enlargement and even Russia was getting in on the act, “dig[ging] in its heels over the conditions of the sizeable Russian communities in Latvia and Estonia.”
As a result, the Union’s new parts and its old were reported as having “mixed feelings about what this change will mean for them and for Europe”. Even though some commentators observed that “joy has given way to apprehension and even hostility’ on the part of both the old and new member states, it was predicted in Australian reports that “enthusiasm should vastly outweigh” the anxiety. Accompanying enlargement, “anxiety” was seen as inevitable. For some smaller new member states (e.g. Malta), the enlargement invited fears about being “overwhelmed’ or “wiped out’ by a larger Europe. For other larger newcomers (e.g. Poland), enlargement resulted in a feeling of being “betrayed by the EU's decision to postpone the full extent of subsidies for new members for 10 years”.
In many of the older EU states, the reunification of the continent brought a “fear’ of migrants from the former communist states. This fear resulted in a public “hysteria” about the inability of the old EU government to restrict access to public housing and benefits for newcomers. Naturally, several existing EU members were observed to be in a “grudging’’ mood -- many of those states became “much less confident’ about enlargement.
Images of relations coloured intensively with effects and emotions were among the most visible categorisations in the New Zealand reports of the enlargement. It was dominated by images of mutual fears ruling the relations between old and new member states. The mood of the citizens in the 15 established EU nations towards enlargement was either “indifferent or afraid’ - enlargement inspired “more angst than euphoria”. Possible immigration from the new member states put various old member states (e.g. the UK and Ireland) in a state of “hysteria’’ for months. To “calm frayed nerves”, the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration (IOM) was reported to be releasing a series of studies on the impact of EU enlargement on both accession and existing members of the union. The citizens of the EU-15 were seen “spooked by hysteria over a migration wave”. New states were shown as being similarly uneasy about the outcomes of enlargement, albeit for different reasons. Populist politicians in Eastern Europe were seen to be “stirring up worries”, and, as a result, myths about EU excesses turned into “scare stories”.
The dominant metaphors of personification then, encompassing the images of the EU as a club and as a family, were found to be riddled with oppositions and contradictions. In ‘Club’ Euro - a club renowned for its exclusivity and selectiveness - the richness and maturity of the old members was contrasted with the youth and poverty of the newcomers. This contrast was emphasised by the depictions of doors being half opened or left closed, symbolising the restrictive nature of an elite club, as well as the guarding role of the ‘seasoned’ members in the admission process. In the European ‘family’, these parallels and con-
trasts continued in the dichotomy between the youthful vigour of the new members - sometimes bringing with it a lack of sophistication and gaucheness - and the older (and wiser, it was assumed, yet lacking energy and enthusiasm) parental figures of the existing EU-15 member states. The relations between the two family parts were often strained and at many times deteriorated into fighting and bickering.
METAPHORS OF PERSONIFICATION: SECONDARY DISTRIBUTION. The dominant metaphors of personification of ‘club’ and ‘family’ were supported by some occasional metaphors which added extra ‘flavour’ to the image of the ‘social’ activities of the enlarging EU in the European ‘community’. In New Zealand those occasional metaphors of personification were enlargement as a shopping pastime, enlargement as a game, and enlargement as intellectual/scientific activity. For example, new EU members were seen as being busy while “welfare shopping”. Enlargement was also presented as a game in which new members were seen as both “gaining something, but also at the same time losing something.'' In this game, the EU “face[d] daunting challenges’’ to raise the newcomers' economic standards to those of Western Europe. In addition, the enlarging EU was seen as embarking on its “most ambitious political experiment’. Tony Blair was cited as comparing the accession of ten new members to a “catalyst for change” within the EU. Post-enlargement immigration was also described like a difficult task to which Brussels should “come up with a solution quickly”. If the solution was not found, it was thought that the EU could squander what should be the economic opportunity of the decade.
Similarly to New Zealand press, Australian newspapers viewed the accession of ten new members as a scientific/research/schooling activity in which enlargement was seen as “catalyst for sudden progress on economic and strategic challenges” and a new “chapter’ in European history. New member states were compared to the elements of the “complex jigsaw’ of the EU. The image of shopping also surfaced - the enlarged EU was seen as a “one-stop-shop for doing business in 25 diverse economies”.
In contrast to the New Zealand discourse, the Australian media visibly profiled enlargement as a dramatic performance on the stage -the shift of EU borders eastward and southward was “dramatic”, the risks of investment in central European countries was “dramatically reduced”, and the world's political geography was going through the “most dramatic redrawing” since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The success of the new member states was seen as depending on how they “perform as EU members compared with the way they performed outside it”. Some newcomers, for example, Estonia, were labelled as an “outstanding performer” among the EU transition economies. Slovakia's “role on the international scene” was also seen as becoming more important. A new, bigger EU, was sometimes seen as a showbiz pro-
moter, “promoting a more peaceful world... [as well as] a more democratic one”.
Australian newspapers also introduced a metaphorical image complimentary to the metaphor of well-being and sustenance - the metaphor of awaking from the sleep. Enlargement “awoke” the EU to the realities of a long list of political, economic and social challenges; new member states were “waking up from the big Soviet sleep”; and the removal of many tariffs and barriers to foreign investment in the new Eastern European countries was “awakening the interest of overseas firms”.
While the imagery created by the dominant metaphors of personification were notably conflictual in nature, the secondary metaphors were more light hearted and congenial. Metaphors of enlargement relating to shopping, game playing, stage performing and other intellectual and scientific pursuits arguably differed from the ‘split-and-clash’ images accompanied by the negative connotations found with the dominant enlargement metaphors of the EU as a club and as a family. Yet, the secondary metaphors, due to their relatively low frequency in the news texts, do not provide a true balance to the dominant ones, and thus, the resulting categorisations do not counter the images of intense opposition that the latter induce. Nevertheless, both clusters provide key imagery of the EU as a person acting in everyday environments, making the complex political concept of enlargement at once recognisable and comprehendible.
DISCUSSION. This paper examined a particular case of metaphorical categorisation at work - the conceptual metaphor of personification in a persuasive discourse of news media. This analysis operated on the assumptions that foreign news discourses feature abundant linguistic metaphors, and that the conceptual metaphors of personification underlie a significant part of the metaphorical corpus found in the news texts. Correspondingly, this research located several prolific clusters of surface metaphors framed by the conceptual metaphor of personification in the Australian and New Zealand news reporting EU enlargement.
Lakoff and Johnson observed that “personification is a general category that covers a very wide range of metaphors, each picking out different aspects of a person or ways of looking at a person.” What unites those categorisations is that, with their help, we can understand complicated phenomena (foreign policy notions included) on the “basis of our own motivations, goals, actions, and characteristics.” Arguably, the conceptual metaphor of personification described EU enlargement, a complicated and controversial European development, in familiar and ‘user-friendly’ terms for the international audiences outside the Union. The metaphor of personification, being common and recognisable, carries strong contextualised emotional connotations and results in power-
ful pragmatic implications. The media images of nations and international bodies (the EU in our paper) as “real personalities” involved in various - predominantly conflicting - relations outline the network of connections in the world “neighbourhoods”. In this study, the expanding EU was prominently described in terms of human associations -club and family -- with their members pictured as being involved in complex relations, interacting with each in a feisty way, experiencing mixed emotions and having health problems.
The employed metaphorical categorisations highlighted the conflicting, dramatic and negative aspects of enlargement using the familiar everyday scenarios of ‘club’ and ‘family’. That was observed on both macro- and micro-levels. The former level is the level of the concepts’ definition -- the concept of a club represents an association of people based on selective membership and common interests opening its doors for a chosen few; in contrast, notions of family represent the unconditional and accommodating welcoming of all members. The latter level of the clashing imagery was observed within the frames’ scenarios. Both metaphors -- ENLARGING EU AS CLUB and ENLARGING EU AS FAMILY-- implicitly separated the old and new Member States into clearly differing and opposing roles. For example, the old states were seen as older, wiser, richer relatives or members of a club in the position of authority able to admit or deny the access to the common European house of the poorer and younger new Member States. The EU-15 members had a choice to greet the newcomers in either a welcoming or a chilly manner; while the new EU were striving to join the association by any means. The EU-15 Member States were described as old and weak, while the ten newcomers were pictured as youthful and energetic. In addition, the ‘family’ frame brought to the foreground the dramatic aspects of battered relations, poor health and emotional discomfort for both new and old members.
Raymond Gozzi argued that the role of the metaphor is to promote some aspects of the phenomenon being described, while at the same time, pushing other aspects back into the shadows, to be ignored and forgotten. Arguably, commercial imperatives, dictating to news media a preference for negativity and conflict, turn the image of the outside world (the EU in our case) into a matrix of opposing and conflicting elements with a negative charge to them. The alternate positively-loaded imagery (equally possible within the ‘club’ or ‘family’ frames) was not dominant in the monitored news texts in both Australasian countries. While accounting for the most prominent categorisations motivated by the conceptual metaphor of personification, this paper also aimed to illuminate those aspects downplayed or ignored by the news makers. Metaphors are not, as Richard Bailey suggests, immutable, and, ideally, critical news makers and news consumers should be able to challenge those established, re-cycled and ‘ready-to-wear’ images.
It is true, however, that ‘haute-couture’ metaphors are not likely to be featured on a regular basis in daily news media texts. The limitations in news production, including news writers’ skills, the news readers’ preference for familiar and recognisable images, as well as their resistance to re-categorise already established mental structures. These limitations make the inclusion of the less-known imagery in news discourse be more difficult. Yet, the perpetuation of the negativity and conflict in the ‘pret-a-porter’ media imagery of EU enlargement threatens to leave a long-lasting imprint in public opinion and thus contributes to the creation of a stereotype. Stereotype here is understood as a group concept held by one social group about another which is used frequently to justify certain discriminatory behaviours. Gozzi alerts us to the knowledge that the conceptual metaphors of personification may “provide a misleading sense of purpose and unity to the complex ma-noeuvrings of foreign policy and diplomacy, which are after all, the resultants of many conflicting groups and interests.”
Historically, economically and culturally, the ten newcomers to the EU do not share much in common with Australia and New Zealand. Although both countries have experienced immigration from the ten new EU Member States, the numbers of immigrants (compared with other European countries) are low. Ideological differences between the two OECD Pacific states and eight ex-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe have obstructed more intense political, economic and cultural exchanges during the Cold War years. In trading terms, neither Australia nor New Zealand has prioritised their links with the eight formerly socialist states. Malta and Cyprus are two exceptions in this case - as members of the Commonwealth they have traditionally enjoyed greater links to Australia and New Zealand.
With the degree of personal interaction and interpersonal communication of Australians and New Zealanders with the EU newcomers being low, the news media remains a leading source of information on the EU. Arguably, the imagery highlighted in this paper is likely to influence public attitudes of both Australia and New Zealand towards their countries’ interactions with an enlarging EU. The image of the EU member states, for example, as selective and snobbish members of an exclusive club, protective and watchful of their association, conveys the idea that any outsider might have difficulties in accessing ‘fortress Europe’ should the need arise. Likewise, the images of a squabbling family render the idea that there is potential for outsiders to get caught up in the internal EU fights.
Yet, the controversy discovered in micro- and macro-level of metaphorical framing implies that there is an ambivalent background to the public perception. The ‘family’ of the EU was still sharing its ‘common house’, occasionally opening doors, embracing newcomers, and throwing celebrations in their honour. The ten EU newcomers were seen be-
ing full of enthusiasm, energy and vigour, arguably able to revive the old EU. Moreover, the controversial twist to the metaphorical imagery allowed the Australasian media discourses to communicate the message that the EU still matters to the Pacific region. Although the EU-25 members were portrayed as being physically unwell, they were not featured as carrying any infectious disease that was dangerous for outsiders. A bigger EU was sometimes seen as weak, deprived of energy or in pain, but in no way was it shown to be transmitting those ills outside the Union. The expanded EU may have been depicted as engulfed in negative emotions of fear and panic, but those emotions were not projected onto the outsiders. Moreover, the EU’s make-over attempts were registered to be appreciated by the outsiders (Australia and New Zealand in our case). It is not surprising that the images of romantic relations entered the EU enlargement news in the domestic context.
CONCLUSION. The EU’s current preoccupation with creating its own “brand” (foreseen as to be instrumental in successful communication of its policies to its citizens) has neglected the contribution of external public opinion to the ‘branding’ process. This paper aimed to highlight the peculiarities of the EU’s imagery created outside the Union’s borders. It also attempted to alert the stakeholders about the stereotypes of a newly enlarged EU currently being cemented around the world. The paper scrutinised two cases - Australian and New Zealand news media representations of EU enlargement by means of the conceptual metaphor of personification. The dramatic and potent imagery resulting from this conceptualisation, as well as the pragmatic implications arising from the use of these images in the regional public discourses, prompts the need for a systematic and regular account of the EU’s representations worldwide. Without this, the EU’s public diplomacy, “the current Cinderella of the EU’s global engagement”, runs the risk of never making it to the ‘ball’ of international affairs.
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© Jessica Bain, Katrina Stats, Natalia Chaban, 2006