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Metaphor, Metaphor -- Interpretation


Barack Obama campaigned on the theme of ‘change,’ and as the first African-American to win the U. S. Presidency, he embodies changes of historical and cultural importance. Central among the changes Obama advocates is his attempt, throughout his campaign, to depart from the ‘old politics’ and keep racial issues in the background. However, at a crucial point in the campaign he was forced to confront these issues when a potentially damaging controversy erupted over a series of comments, widely regarded as unpatriotic, made by his personal friend and spiritual adviser, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. How Obama dealt with this crisis is a prime example of the role of metaphor and stories in discourse about change, both in promoting and in dealing with change.


© 2012 Information Age Publishing


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Culture and Social Change: Transforming Society through the Power of Ideas, 99-118.. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published.

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