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Title: Metaphorizing the Philippine Presidency: Schemas of Presidential Leadership in the Post-Marcos State of the Nation Addresses (1987-2009)
Keywords: political discourse analysis, State of the Nation Address, Philippine presidential rhetoric, schemas, metaphors, democratization
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2011
Citation: GENE SEGARRA NAVERA (2011-07-15). Metaphorizing the Philippine Presidency: Schemas of Presidential Leadership in the Post-Marcos State of the Nation Addresses (1987-2009). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This research is a socio-political discourse analysis of Philippine presidential rhetoric after the country?s re-democratization in 1987. The period under investigation?1987 to 2009?is significant in that it departs from 14 years of authoritarianism under Ferdinand Marcos. It is a period characterized by democratic restoration as well as the challenge to sustain basic freedoms, civil liberties, and democratic institutions amid the changing socio-political and economic landscape both in the national and global fronts. Covering the four post-dictatorship presidencies of Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, this thesis examines how specific conceptualizations of key themes and their configurations in presidential speeches constitute the schema of each of the four presidencies. The thesis also accounts for the similarities and differences of the presidential schemas. The State of the Nation Addresses (SONAs) delivered annually by these presidents are used as primary data. Theoretically, the thesis assumes that mediating mental structures such as schema account for the relationship between text and context. In my analytical framework, a schema, which is a collection of experiences that mediate our sense-making processes, is constituted by frames that at the same time organize these experiences. These frames may be represented through conceptual statements?macro-level conceptualizations?that are likewise constituted by a cluster of conceptual metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson 1980; Lakoff 2004, 2006, 2008; Charteris-Black 2004, 2005, 2007) that underlie metaphorical and lexico-grammatical expressions found in political texts and talk. Through repeated use and deployment, these metaphors that function as and work in conjunction with rhetorical strategies such as logical, emotional, and ethical proofs, strategies of self-representation and othering (Van Dijk 1998; Riggins 1997), and political myths (Charteris-Black 2005) can set off, prompt, trigger or disrupt (shared) schemas responsible for our sense making processes. I suggest that the schemas that emerge from the analysis of the national addresses may be used to compare similarities and differences among the four post-dictatorship presidencies and to account for continuities and discontinuities in Philippine presidential leadership within the last two decades. From the analyses of the post-Marcos SONAs, I deduce a couple of insights. First, the themes are metaphorized and framed (Lakoff 2006, 2008) in relation to the key themes emphasized by a president and this is accounted for by the evolving socio-political contexts and the agency of the president. Second, metaphorizations and frames serve to justify and work towards hastening the public acceptance of government policies. Third, schemas of state of the nation and the presidential leadership in the post-Marcos SONAs take on a path structure?a movement from one point to a desired destination. What distinguishes a presidential schema from the rest is the way specific elements (or themes) in the path structure are conceptualized. Finally, certain conceptualizations of the focal themes in the post-Marcos presidencies reinforce or adhere to social discourses that tend to perpetuate or reproduce relations of dominance and control. The final point provides impetus for multiple audiences of presidential speeches to engage in the critical examination of how themes commonly invoked in these addresses are metaphorized and strategically expressed before they get transformed into public policies.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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