This chapter presents theconceptual framework to be used to address the research question of thisproposal. The conceptual and methodological framework for this study will beinformed by the lens of CriticalDiscourse Analysis (CDA) and is largely drawn from the findings of thereview of literature. Discoursetheory is concerned with language and how it is used. Language can both reflectand create social reality. It can frame how people think about a certainexperience. Discourses, according to Foucault, are “ways of constitutingknowledge, together with the social practices, forms of subjectivity and powerrelations which inhere in such knowledge and relations between them” (Weedon1997).
Discourses are way of representing and producing meanings and could varyacross space and time. It could be created and reproduced by those who have thepower an means, Critical Discourse Analysis is atype of discourse analysis that uses analysis of written and spoken texts to exposepolitics of language and sources of power and dominance within its specificsocial, political and historical context (van Dijk 1998). Elaborately defined, CDA (Fairclough 1993) isDiscourse analysis which aims to systematicallyexplore often opaque relationships of causality and determination between (a)discursive practices, events and texts, and (b) wider social and culturalstructures, relations and processes; to investigate how such practices, events,and texts arise out of and are ideologically shaped by relations of power and struggles over power; and to explore howthe opacity of these relationships between discourse and society is itself a factorsecuring power and hegemony. (p. 135)Using CDA as a framework fits theaims of this study as legislators constitute a larger dominant group of elites.CDA would be appropriate in determining how groups possessing power use thelanguage of democracy for their own interests and how these discourses ofdemocracy have been partial and reproduce existing relations. As a guidingframework, this study could show if discourses on democracy promoted by theselegislators are in disjunct with the lived experiences of democracy in thecountry.Political elites in this studywould pertain to Filipino legislators.
As mentioned in the review ofliterature, the legislature is considered as one of the foundations of ademocratic governance. Furthermore, legislators would be operationalized asmembers of the lower house or the House of Representatives. To look for themeanings of democracy for legislators, this would be indicated by discursivethemes arising from the key informant interviews. Figure 1 below illustratesthe conceptual framework to be used. A detailed description of the legislatorsand the interviews would be discussed in the succeeding chapter.