Detroit is a Blank Slate: Metaphors in the journalistic discourse of art and entrepreneurship in the City of Detroit

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Abstract

This paper presents an investigation of metaphoric language in the contemporary discourse of Detroit's “renewal.” News articles from local and national news sources from 2009–2011 provide evidence of critical and provocative metaphoric constructions found in the gentrification discourse of Detroit. As harbingers of gentrification, the discourse communities of artists and business entrepreneurs are the focus of this review. The author argues that metaphoric language in journalism must be critically evaluated and challenged to help ensure sustainable, equitable, and historically sensitive “renewal” of the city of Detroit and similar inner-city urban communities experiencing gentrification.

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