Metaphors Matter: How Images of Battle, Sports and Sex Shape the Adversary System

58 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2007  

Elizabeth G. Thornburg

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Abstract

Metaphors are not pretty figures of speech; they affect the way people within cultures perceive reality. It is therefore significant that the metaphors most commonly used for the adversary system center on war and sports. This tends to over-emphasize the competitive aspects of litigation and disguise opportunities for more cooperative behavior. This article collects and analyzes those metaphors, and discusses the reasons for their powerful hold on legal culture. It also considers some of the negative effects of the metaphorical system and speculates about whether we could find and nurture alternative metaphors.

Keywords: adversary system, metaphor, war, sports, sex, ethics, battle

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Thornburg, Elizabeth G., Metaphors Matter: How Images of Battle, Sports and Sex Shape the Adversary System. Wisconsin Women's Law Journal, Vol. 10, p. 225, 1995. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1006305

Elizabeth G. Thornburg (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 0116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
214-768-2613 (Phone)
214-768-3142 (Fax)

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