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Framing Superiority and Closeness: Bridging the Class Gap in Philippine Electoral Politics

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

Contentious politics produces diverse leadership styles that may all be salient to a country’s electorate. This article explores key cultural frames that allow politicians to project both superiority and closeness to lower-class populations, hinged on different criteria of legitimacy. In the Philippine electoral arena, the established “patronage frame” is challenged by new political contenders who put forward the “oppression frame” of class politics, the “good governance” frame of liberal reformers, and the populist frame of media celebrities-turned-politicians. Given the salience of multiple frames, ordinary people may employ seemingly contradictory criteria of superiority and legitimacy and combine these effortlessly when they choose whom to vote for. This article suggests a social logic of frame diversity.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology and Anthropology University of Amsterdam O.Z. Achterburgwal 185 1012 DK Amsterdam The Netherlands, Email:


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