Publication details [#53997]

Blake, Mary, Tatjana Đurović and Nadezda Silaski. 2010. Metaphors we vote by. The case of ‘marriage’ in contemporary Serbian political discourse. Journal of Language and Politics 9 (2) : 237–259.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper looks at how the marriage metaphor structures the discourse concerning the relationship between political parties in Serbia. In January 2007, in the first general election to be held in Serbia since its union with Montenegro was dissolved in 2006, no party succeeded in gaining an absolute majority. Eventually, after more than three months of coalition talks, the main pro-reform parties agreed to form a government: the conservative and moderately nationalist right-leaning Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), together with the pro-Western Democratic Party (DS). Compiling a small data collection from the leading Serbian dailies and political weeklies, this paper tries to track the metaphors through highly argumentative discourse in regard to the formation of political coalitions and their break-up. The main aim of this study is to show how the metaphors may be mapped and used as a vehicle of public discourse for achieving overt or covert political and ideological objectives on the complex political scene in contemporary Serbia. It is also argued that Serbian political discourse is highly gendered, as gender roles, manifested through the assignment of wife and husband roles to political parties, are clearly delineated according to the traditional male-female dichotomy, implying stereotypical traits and patriarchal values characteristic of Serbian culture.