The clichéd conceptualization of cancer illness as a battle, which the patient can either win or lose, can be problematic. For patients referred to palliative care, it can cause feelings of guilt and failure. This framing of cancer, here referred to as ‘the battle script’, has been questioned in previous research, and there seems to be awareness among health practitioners that battle metaphors should be avoided. The aim of this paper is to shed light on this battle script by examining the discursive dynamics of metaphor use in a large corpus of Swedish blogs written by terminally ill patients. The study focuses on two common linguistic metaphors, kämpa [fight/struggle] and ge upp [give up]. These expressions have the potential to actualize the battle script, but do not necessarily do so, due to their ambiguous meanings. By analyzing the contextualized meaning of these two metaphors, we illustrate the normality of the battle script as well as the problem to handle the perceived normativity of the script. We also discuss discursive strategies used by the bloggers to handle the negative implications of the battle script.
HUMANIORA -- Språk och litteratur -- Jämförande språkvetenskap och lingvistik (hsv//swe)
HUMANITIES -- Languages and Literature -- General Language Studies and Linguistics (hsv//eng)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Hälsovetenskaper -- Omvårdnad (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Health Sciences -- Nursing (hsv//eng)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Hälsovetenskaper -- Annan hälsovetenskap (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Health Sciences -- Other Health Sciences (hsv//eng)