George Lakoff makes plain how the words used by politicians translate to the public's support for various political issues. Language matters - especially when it comes to politics.
A founder of the field of cognitive science, Lakoff takes an in-depth look at the ways in which our brains understand politics, breaking down the politics of language.
George P. Lakoff
George P. Lakoff is a professor of linguistics (in particular, cognitive linguistics) at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972.
Although some of his research involves questions traditionally pursued by linguists, such as the conditions under which a certain linguistic construction is grammatically viable, he is most famous for his ideas about the centrality of metaphor to human thinking, political behavior and society.
He is particularly famous for his concept of the "embodied mind" which he has written about in relation to mathematics. In recent years he has applied his work to the realm of politics, and founded a progressive think tank, the Rockridge Institute.
Joseph S. Tuman is Professor of Political and Legal Communications in the Department of Communication Studies at San Francisco State University, where he has taught and researched for twenty years.
Having published extensively in the field of political and legal communications, his work includes books such as the critically acclaimed Communicating Terror: The Rhetorical Dimensions of Terrorism (Sage Publications, 2003), and Freedom of Speech in the Marketplace of Ideas (St. Martin's Press, 1997, co-authored with Doug Fraleigh), as well as a large number of articles published in national and international scholarly journals. His newest book is Political Communications in American Campaigns (Sage).
George Lakoff divides conservative and progressive views on government by analogies to two types of families: the strict father model, in which there is no moral authority above the father, and the nurturing parent model, which is based on empathy, protection, and empowerment.