Publication details [#5812]

Marín-Arrese, Juana I. 2008. Cognition and culture in political cartoons. Intercultural Pragmatics 5 (1) : 1–18. 18 pp.


The creation and interpretation of humor in cartoons draws on various cognitive mechanisms, such as conceptual metaphor and metonymy, conceptual integration or blending, and cognitive and cultural models. The role that these mechanisms play in the humor process has been explored in relatively recent studies (Coulson 2002; Brone and Feyaerts 2003; Medubi 2003; Bergen 2004; Marin-Arrese 2003, 2005; Brone, Feyaerts and Veale 2006). The present paper examines humor in political cartoons in relation to the Referendum on the European Constitution, held in France on May 29, 2005, and the various perceptions and representations of the results in the English and Spanish press. The paper aims to: (a) explore some of the cognitive mechanisms involved in the construction of meaning, in particular metaphoric and metonymic reasoning and conceptual blending; and (b) reveal some of the common or contrasting features of cultural models in political cartoons in English and Spanish, and the role that these cartoons play in reinforcing or challenging social, cultural and political practices. The analysis reveals the ways in which humor is used as a form of criticism against the dominant ideology of French political elite, as well as an attack, especially in the Spanish press, against the government. (Adapted from the source document) (LLBA, (c) CSA [2008]. All rights reserved.)