Metaphors in the “fight” against human trafficking under the Obama administration.
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Morgan, Ashley Nicole.
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Human trafficking and immigration have become prominent policy issues during Barack Obama’s presidency. In this thesis, I argue that the metaphors used in the Obama administration’s human trafficking rhetoric and those used in immigration rhetoric are mutually constitutive. I examine a number of texts related to human trafficking and immigration produced by the Obama administration, including speeches, statements, public service announcements videos, posters, and government reports for the most prevalent metaphors. By comparing the metaphors used by the Obama administration to describe the practices of human trafficking and immigration, this thesis will illustrate the commonly overlooked interlinkages between human trafficking and immigration rhetoric. The implications this rhetoric has for trafficking and immigration policy and conceptualizations of national identity are explored. This analysis contributes to a deeper theorization of the role of metaphor in human trafficking rhetoric and a better understanding of the relationship between human trafficking and immigration rhetoric.