Author(s): Gökçen HASTÜRKOĞLU

The purpose of this study is to define the functions of conceptual metaphors for heroin in Canan Tan’s Eroinle Dans (2009) [Dance With Heroin] and demonstrate whether such metaphors can shape people’s thought and give rise to attitudes and patterns of behavior in terms of heroin addiction. In order to do so, forty participants were included in this study, half of which were designed as the control group and were asked to list associations with heroin in a neutral context; whereas the experimental group was presented with the same task, but before and after reading the novel. The latter group was also asked to report on their attitudes toward heroin after reading Eroinle Dans. The results revealed that the conceptualizations for heroin were overwhelmingly negative when probed in isolation; however, positive associations were observed after being exposed to positive conceptual metaphors. The answers for the question gauging the attitudes toward heroin also demonstrated that the participants were affected by the author’s description of heroin making them think less critically as regards heroin use. These findings suggest that writers’ way of defining certain concepts can affect their readers’ attitudes towards these concepts, and metaphorical framings have the power to influence individuals’ views on social issues.


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