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Пишет imp_3130 ([info]toshnit@lj)
privet! sorry for english again, writing from work here...

this is a part of a phenomenon called metaphoric structuring (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980). the main tenet of the idea is that people conceptualize their world in terms of metaphors. there are debates as to how such conceptualization is actually realized in human brains, but on the linguistic level there seems to be a consensus that our speech can be classified into clusters pertaining to different metaphors. if we stick with female metaphors, examples can be sentences illustrating "a good woman is a cinderella" or "a bad woman is a witch". Lakoff actually believes that the entire language is structured metaphorically (e.g., "more is up", "good is warmness", "a country is a family", etc.)

here is how this is relevant to the topic at hand. metaphor is a linguistic device that is very useful for persuasion and social control. Lakoff has a couple of books about use of metaphor in politics. One of them is about the origins of moral terms (he believes that we derive what's moral from metaphors we use to describe an ideal family; liberal and conservative approaches to morality are so different because they use different conceptions of what the ideal family is) (Lakoff, "moral politics", 2000)

metaphor is useful for social control due to two reasons:

1) a metaphor invites you to think about things in terms of other things, borrowing the reasoning framework from another domain. as a result, it gets you to use a blueprint in your thinking, minimizing your personal cognitive effort. using such a blueprint feels personally satisfying because during the thinking process you experience the fleeting feeling of "aha!", where all of a sudden A LOT OF THINGS MAKE SENSE AT ONCE.

2) once you see something in terms of a metaphor, your cognition suppresses awareness of things that are inconsistent with the metaphor (Gernsbacher et al, 1995). once the metaphor has been repeated a bunch of times and entrenched itself in the minds of the population, it is difficult to see the situation in new ways and form another perspective on the issue.

basically, fairy tales are extended metaphors.

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