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A Critical Metaphor Analysis of Educational Technology Research in the Social Studies

, Indiana University Kokomo, United States

CITE Journal Volume 18, Number 3, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


This study employs Lakoff & Johnson’s conception of metaphor as rooted in embodied experiences to investigate educational technology discourse in the social studies. The last 3 years of scholarship in the social studies section of the CITE journal is examined for the presence of metaphors used by authors to justify or support their arguments. Five prominent categories of metaphor were identified within the discourse: Manual labor metaphors, construction/building metaphors, mechanistic metaphors, technology as biological life/agent metaphors, and journey metaphors. While it is necessary to use metaphors to understand new phenomena such as digital technologies, results suggest that some of the specific metaphors that were commonly employed may impede a more intelligent approach to conceptualizing and implementing new technologies. Results indicate that a deep metaphor of technology as the agent or driver of social progress may underpin a substantial portion of recent scholarship.


Mason, L. (2018). A Critical Metaphor Analysis of Educational Technology Research in the Social Studies. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 18(3), 538-555. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved August 15, 2022 from .

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