Riding the Populist Wave. Metaphors of Populism and Anti-Populism in the Daily Mail and The Guardian


  • Massimiliano Demata
  • Michelangelo Conoscenti
  • Yannis Stavrakakis




anti-populism, metaphors, media, news, populism


This paper addresses the construction of the concepts of populism and anti-populism and their metaphorical realisations in British news discourse, and specifically in the Daily Mail and The Guardian, in 2016, a crucial year for populist politics. The analysis of two corpora made of articles from the two newspapers is based on the methodology offered by Corpus Linguistics and Corpus Approach to Critical Metaphor Analysis. The metaphors of populism emerging from the analysis highlight a substantially standardised use of the metaphor POPULISM IS (UPWARD) MOVEMENT, both for populists and anti-populists, but with diverging evaluations. The authors argue that metaphors play a key role in orienting the public perception of populism based on shared modes of understanding social and political life.


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