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Revista signos

versão On-line ISSN 0718-0934

Resumo

MAGANA, Dalia  e  MATLOCK, Teenie. “I had to win this battle”: Metaphor, modality and gender in cancer narratives. Rev. signos [online]. 2021, vol.54, n.105, pp.191-213. ISSN 0718-0934.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-09342021000100191.

Discourse analysis studies offer tools to reveal, from patients’ perspective, how complex diseases such as cancer are understood. Although several studies have shed light on how metaphor and modality are used in cancer discourse in English, little is known about cancer discourse in Spanish. To discover how Spanish-speaking patients narrate their own personal experiences with cancer and what gender differences exist in cancer discourse, we compiled a corpus of 50 Spanish narratives. The narratives were collected from an online site dedicated to sharing personal experiences with the disease. We analyze how 25 men and 25 women use metaphor and modality in cancer narratives. Our main finding is that violence metaphors and travel metaphors predominate in health narratives. We note that writers used metaphors of violence to offer readers advice and to portray cancer as an enemy. They used travel metaphors to discuss their progress and to offer encouragement to their readers. We found that women tend to use cancer metaphors more often than men. Finally, we find that both the frequency and the types of modal verbs they use demonstrate the inclination of women to establish connections and the tendency of men to offer and seek information.

Palavras-chave : Health discourse; conceptual metaphor theory; modality; gender; cancer narratives.

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