Culture, memory and collective identities : a cross-modal analysis of metaphors in Italian corporate historical discourse
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This study presents a metaphor‐based approach to analysing identity in corporate discourse, which hinges on an understanding of corporate memory as a dynamic process of re‐membering that shapes a company's culture and identity. The analysis is based on a corpus of websites of 40 major Italian listed companies. Data comprise verbal and non‐verbal texts exemplifying corporate histories. The focus is on metaphors, looking at their verbal realisation and their intersemiotic construction on the web page, with regard to identity, and as filtered through the memory‐centred discourse addressed to international markets. The investigation reveals that Italian companies' ‘historical’ discourse contributes to the construction of memory in a (culturally‐marked) individual‐to‐collectivity recalling process. As such, historical discourse informs the notion of active past that shapes a company's social identity.