The Hooded Student as a Metaphor: Multimodal Recontextualization of the Chilean Student Movement in a Broadcast News Report



This chapter analyzes the multimodal representation of the narratives associated with the figure of the student as an inherently violent social actor in the media, as reflected in a journalistic investigation that foregrounded the student movement as a possible suspect of the bombing of an underground station in Santiago (Chile). In particular, we explore the recontextualization of the students’ political actions and motivations throughout the identification of metaphors and their function in the overall legitimation of their representation. We analyze the 11-minute news report called “X-ray of the [Chilean] student movement” (Canal 13, 2014), and the analysis combines, adapts, and develops two main methodologies. On the one hand, we use the concepts of multimodal metaphors (Feng and O’Halloran, Semiotica 197:79–100, 2013a; Feng and Espindola, Ilha Do Desterro 64:85–110, 2013) and emotional prosody (Feng and O’Halloran, Rev Cogn Linguist 11(2):320–335, 2013b; Feng and Qi, Narrat Inq 24(2):347–367, 2014) to identify how the students’ political actions are materialized and naturalized systematically within narrative structure provided by the news report. On the other hand, we adapt van Leeuwen’s approach to motive and legitimation of social actors/actions (Van Leeuwen, Discourse Commun 1(1):91–112, 2007; Van Leeuwen, Discourse and Practice: New Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008) to describe how these multimodal constructions enhance the crime narrative associated with the student movement in hegemonic discourses such as the media (Pérez, Logos: Revista de Lingüística, Filosofía y Literatura 22(2):4–26, 2012; Pérez, Revista Austral de Ciencias Sociales 30:5–26, 2016). Results show that the multimodal recontextualizations of the students and their actions revolve around three main areas: their representation as social actors, the representations of public space, and the representations of their motivation. Additionally, the representation of hooded students, along with their disruptive and violent characteristics, is used metonymically to represent the student movement as a whole, thus negatively recontextualizing and criminalizing their actions and motives through a multimodal narrative in which subversion and civil disorder are neutralized.


Broadcast News Reports Multimodal Metaphor Social movementsSocial Movements purposePurpose Semiotic Modes 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Language DepartmentUniversidad Bernardo O’HigginsSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Translation and Language StudiesPompeu Fabra UniversityBarcelonaSpain

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