Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Critical Discourse Studies 10:4 (2013), pp. 406–426; doi: 10.1080/17405904.2013.813774


Copyright © 2013 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.
A short, earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Applied Linguistics in Boston, Massachusetts, on 24 March 2012.


This study illustrates how metonymy in image and text work together to produce dominant ideologies in US media discourse, through careful, multidisciplinary analysis of over 25 articles in online US newspapers from the years 2004 to 2011 that reported crimes committed by Wall Street/CEOs and Latino migrants. Using critical discourse analysis/ studies, multimodal analysis, and cognitive linguistic frameworks, we examine examples of metonymy, which combine to negatively “Other” Latinos and (re)produce positive representations of Wall Street/CEOs. While work in critical metaphor analysis shows how metaphor plays a crucial role in the depiction of participants and events, we argue that metonymy is equally important and reveals the need for a critical metonymy analysis. These results help to demonstrate the ideological potential of metonymy in media discourse and how it contributes to the public’s conceptualization of these groups, thereby bringing us one step closer to social justice and social change.