People Power as Dramaturgical Performances: Three Uprisings in the Philippines |

People Power as Dramaturgical Performances: Three Uprisings in the Philippines


Theoretical approaches to collective behavior suffer from an intellectual tradition that tends to equate social protest with crowd (mob) behavior ---- a form of sociopathology endemic in societies suffering from social breakdown. This is rooted in Durkheimian sociological concept of anomie --- a collective angst experiences concurrently with the processes of modernization and its attendant excesses. This study debunks that perspective. In looking at three people power uprisings in the Philippines which occurred over a time period of fifteen years (1986 - 2001), this study employs a Goffmanian framework to portray collective behavior as a testimonial to expressive human agency, and to explain the quasi-religious and festive character of Philippine uprisings. They are "dramaturgical productions," each one governed by an underlying script. Two uprisings embody the larger moral vision among middle-class protestors who adhere to a distinct social project called "modernity." The third uprising elaborates on James Scott's notion of the "hidden transcript" which is formed in the subterreneal regions of discourse among the poor and the marginalized, and is inspired by the Biblical Pasyon, the movies and the telenovelas. Data is drawn from first-person interiewees all of whom participated in the uprisings.

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Teresita Cruz-del Rosario,Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Friday, 28 August 2009
12.15 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.

Seminar Room 3-5
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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