Wesleyan University

Professor Sarah Wiliarty: Landesmutter in the Fatherland


Available cultural metaphors are a key component to understanding gendered representations in both politics and the media. Politicians may be able to tap into cultural metaphors to explain themselves to their desired audiences, including voters and the media. Likewise, the media may make use of these metaphors in their coverage. For female politicians the metaphor of mother is a critical one with potential advantages (a politician might be the mother of the nation and disadvantages (should a mother be home with her children rather than politically active?). This talk will examine the metaphor of mother,as used for female politicians in Germany. It also considers other, more culturally-constrained, metaphors such as queen, hostess, and grandmother.

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