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"How to be happy” according to Cosmopolitan: The metaphors of happiness at the service of positive psychology and neoliberalism ideology

Abstract : The metaphorical representation of happiness in the women’s magazine industry appears to be of particular interest at the moment. Indeed, different political, social and economic actors have made happiness become one of the main objectives of Western societies, both at the individual (self-fulfillment, satisfaction, happiness) and at the collective (workplace wellness, well-being of society) level. However, beneath these laudable ideals, and despite their altruistic, apolitical and ideology-free appearance, there lies a discourse that pursues very clear objectives of benefit only to certain interest groups [Illouz & Cabanas 2018]. The women’s press represents a privileged source in the understanding of the expectations faced by women [Blandin 2018] and, perhaps in a more general way, by individuals in a particular culture. Finally, the metaphors used enable us to analyze certain thought patterns specific to some discourses [Charteris-Black 2004]. The aim of this paper is thus to understand how happiness is represented metaphorically in Cosmopolitan magazine and to determine whether this representation corresponds to an ideological agenda. A corpus-based analysis of the metaphors of happiness used in the Cosmopolitan magazine has been conducted. The results show that most of these metaphors can be categorized according to six conceptual patterns related to the notions of ‘strength’ and ‘limit’. The metaphors of happiness found in this corpus are shown to be ideologically charged and strongly related to positive psychology and neoliberal ideology.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02920122
Contributor : Lucia Gomez Vicente <>
Submitted on : Monday, August 24, 2020 - 2:03:00 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 4:00:10 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 5:48:15 PM

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Lucia Gomez. "How to be happy” according to Cosmopolitan: The metaphors of happiness at the service of positive psychology and neoliberalism ideology. ELAD-SILDA, Centre d'Études Linguistiques - EA1663 - Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, 2020, 5. ⟨hal-02920122⟩

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