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"The post-antibiotic apocalypse" and the "war on superbugs": catastrophe discourse in microbiology, its rhetorical form and political function

Nerlich, Brigitte; James, Richard

Authors

Brigitte Nerlich brigitte.nerlich@nottingham.ac.uk

Richard James

Abstract

Discourses evoking an antibiotic apocalypse and a war on superbugs are emerging just at a time when so-called "catastrophe discourses" are undergoing critical and reflexive scrutiny in the context of global warming and climate change. This article combines insights from social science research into climate change discourses with applied metaphor research based on recent advances in cognitive linguistics, especially with relation to "discourse metaphors." It traces the emergence of a new apocalyptic discourse in microbiology and health care, examines its rhetorical and political function and discusses its advantages and disadvantages. It contains a reply by the author of the central discourse metaphor, "the post-antibiotic apocalypse," examined in the article.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2009
Journal Public Understanding of Science
Print ISSN 0963-6625
Electronic ISSN 0963-6625
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 5
Institution Citation Nerlich, B., & James, R. (2009). "The post-antibiotic apocalypse" and the "war on superbugs": catastrophe discourse in microbiology, its rhetorical form and political function. Public Understanding of Science, 18(5), doi:10.1177/0963662507087974
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662507087974
Publisher URL http://pus.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/18/5/574
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf




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