This chapter presents the
conceptual framework to be used to address the research question of this
proposal. The conceptual and methodological framework for this study will be
informed by the lens of Critical
Discourse Analysis (CDA) and is largely drawn from the findings of the
review of literature.

            Discourse
theory is concerned with language and how it is used. Language can both reflect
and create social reality. It can frame how people think about a certain
experience. Discourses, according to Foucault, are “ways of constituting
knowledge, together with the social practices, forms of subjectivity and power
relations which inhere in such knowledge and relations between them” (Weedon
1997). Discourses are way of representing and producing meanings and could vary
across space and time. It could be created and reproduced by those who have the
power an means,

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Critical Discourse Analysis is a
type of discourse analysis that uses analysis of written and spoken texts to expose
politics of language and sources of power and dominance within its specific
social, political and historical context (van Dijk 1998).  Elaborately defined, CDA (Fairclough 1993) is

Discourse analysis which aims to systematically
explore often opaque relationships of causality and determination between (a)
discursive practices, events and texts, and (b) wider social and cultural
structures, 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 how
the opacity of these relationships between discourse and society is itself a factor
securing power and hegemony. (p. 135)

Using CDA as a framework fits the
aims of this study as legislators constitute a larger dominant group of elites.
CDA would be appropriate in determining how groups possessing power use the
language of democracy for their own interests and how these discourses of
democracy have been partial and reproduce existing relations. As a guiding
framework, this study could show if discourses on democracy promoted by these
legislators are in disjunct with the lived experiences of democracy in the
country.

Political elites in this study
would pertain to Filipino legislators. As mentioned in the review of
literature, the legislature is considered as one of the foundations of a
democratic governance. Furthermore, legislators would be operationalized as
members of the lower house or the House of Representatives. To look for the
meanings of democracy for legislators, this would be indicated by discursive
themes arising from the key informant interviews. Figure 1 below illustrates
the conceptual framework to be used. A detailed description of the legislators
and the interviews would be discussed in the succeeding chapter.