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Discourse & Society 15(1)

OTTO SANTA ANA, Brown Tide Rising: Metaphors of Latinos in Contemporary

American Public Discourse. Austin, TX: University of Austin Press, 2002. xxi +
402 pp.
To date, most of the publications within the contemporary cognitive metaphor
paradigm have been theory-bound or theory-testing (Gibbs, 1994; Johnson
1987; Kvecses, 2000, 2002; Lakoff and Johnson, 1980, 1999; Lakoff and
Turner, 1989; Turner, 1991, 1996). Santa Anas book is the first full-length
applied empirical research on cognitive metaphor theory, implementing a corpus
involving protagonists in real socio-political interaction. Adducing evidence from
the Los Angeles Times, a California-based newspaper, and drawing on cognitive
science and critical discourse analysis, the author shows how metaphoric systems have shaped American public opinion about Latinos by misrepresenting
them as unwanted immigrants, constructing racism around them, modeling
American discourse on education and language, evaluating Latinos as diseases
and intruders, etc.
Apart from offering a corpus-based study of metaphor, which is a failing that
cognitive linguistics has most often been reproached with, the book has brought
to the fore metaphors socio-pragmatic dimension, i.e. its power to convey durable
and fatal evaluations of the Latinos. To date, the practice in cognitive metaphor
theory has been to give descriptive accounts attesting to the pervasiveness of
metaphor in thought without so much addressing the functions metaphor can
play in our life. Although communicative functions (of inexpressibility, compactness, and vividness) (Fainsilber and Ortony, 1987) and social functions (of intimacy, conveying speakers attitudes, and manipulating the speakers social status
within a group) (Gibbs, 1994) have been isolated for metaphor, Santa Anas
book is the first of its kind to exemplify, though not as explicitly as it should, the
socio-pragmatic function of evaluating to demean (immigrants) and persuade
One way of dealing metaphorically with Latinos was to brandish them as illegal aliens or immigrants. With regard to immigration, Santa Ana distinguishes
three metaphoric levels: occasional, secondary, and dominant metaphors.
Occasional metaphors evaluate Latinos as pollution or fire. Secondary metaphors
talk about them in terms of IMMIGRATION AS INVASION and IMMIGRATION
Such conceptual metaphors have been amply exemplified and discussed as to
their socio-political entailments. If the first dominant set strips Latinos of their
individuality, the second is outright racist as it recategorizes them as animals
lower on the Great Chain of Being metaphor than the rest of humans (Lakoff and
Turner, 1989). The discussion of the metaphors of education is not a denunciation of the practices of authorities vis--vis Latinos, but a prosecution of the
very educational American system as based precisely on those metaphors of

Book reviews

The objection to this line of thought might be that if this educational policy, with
its governing metaphors, is deemed so unsuccessful by the author, how can the
status of the United States be explained outside this system of education, knowing the place it enjoys at the peak of the pyramid of the world?
The book offers a nice mix of history of American society (detailing at places
the history of immigration in the US, racism, and affirmative action as an antidote to racist practices as exemplified through RACISM AS CANCER in the 1960s,
which remained medical into the 1990s as AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AS REMEDY),
politics (the study being around the reactions of California to the anti-Latino
Propositions 187 and 209), discourse pragmatics (focusing on conceptual
metaphor and its entailments), and few very personal comments (on family
immigration and deportation). It is, thus, an interdisciplinary document and a
goldmine of evaluative metaphors. It should be enjoyable reading for students of

Fainsilber, L. and Ortony, A. (1987) Metaphorical Uses of Language in the Expression of

Emotions, Metaphor and Symbolic Activity 2(4): 23950.
Gibbs, R.W. Jr. (1994) The Poetics of Mind. Figurative Thought, Language, and Understanding.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Johnson, M. (1987) The Body in the Mind. The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and
Reason. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Kvecses, Z. (2000) Metaphor and Emotion: Language, Culture and Body in Human Feeling.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kvecses, Z. (2002) Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1980) Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: The University of
Chicago Press.
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1999) Philosophy in the Flesh. The Embodied Mind and its
Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books.
Lakoff, G. and Turner, M. (1989) More than Cool Reason. A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor.
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Turner, M. (1991) Reading Minds. The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Turner, M. (1996) The Literary Mind. The Origins of Thought and Language. New York:
Oxford University Press.

Zouhair Maalej
English, University of Manouba, Tunisia
STEVEN CLAYMAN and JOHN HERITAGE, The News Interview: Journalists and
Public Figures on the Air. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. x + 372
pp. US $24.00 (pbk).
Against a backdrop of historical overviews, a wide spectrum of well-known
exchanges from 250 interviews on British and American news programs over the