Political Family

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Chapter 1
Introduction to the Study

Chapter 1 covers five parts: (1) Background and Theoretical Framework of the Study, (2) Statement of the Problem, (3) Significance of the Study, (4) Definition of Terms, and (5) Delimitation of the Study

Part 1, Background and Theoretical Framework of the Study, presents the rationale for the choice of the problem. Part 2, Statement of the Problem, describes the major and specific questions that this study will seek to answer. Part 3, Significance of the Study, cites the benefits that could be derived from the findings of the study. Part 4, Definition of Terms, presents the conceptual and operational definitions of the key terms that will be used in the study. Part 5, Delimitation of the Study, specifies the scope of the study with regards to the variables, the participants, and the instruments that will be used to gather data. Background and Theoretical Framework of the Study

“The family is the strongest unit of society, demanding the deepest loyalties of the individual and coloring all social activity with its own set of demands.” Jean Grossholtz (1964, 86-87)
In the Third World, the elite family has long been a leading actor in the unfolding of the national pageant. More, specifically in the Philippines, elite families can be seen as both object and subject of history, shaping and being shaped by the processes of change. These families have provided a strong element of continuity to the country’s economic and political history over the century past (McCoy 1994, 1). In 1950s Robert Fox (1959, 6) described the Philippines as “an anarchy of families,” in which the Philippine political parties usually have acted as coalitions of powerful families. The rise of powerful political families was attributed to the Republic’s emergence as a weak, postcolonial state (McCoy 1994, 10-11). According to McCoy (1994, 13), after Spain and United States colonial rule, the Republic thus developed as a state with both substantial economic resources and weak bureaucratic capacity. It is this paradoxical pairing of wealth and weakness that opened the state to predatory rent seeking by politicians. Based on Migdal’s research (1988, 9) on Third World politics, he finds that the source of the state’s weakness—the social organizations such as “families, clans…tribes, patron-client dyads” continue to act as competing sources of authority. Despite the apparent influence and significant factor of the family upon wider society and its politics, most historians, both Filipino and foreign, have ignored this problem. According to Schneider (1969, 109-110), instead of studying and analyzing the Philippine political history through the paradigm of elite families, they have generally treated Philippine past and politics solely through as an interaction of state, private institutions, and popular movements. Even social scientists, despite an obligatory bow in the direction of the family, have generally failed to incorporate substantive analysis of its dynamics into rendering of the country’s social and political processes. Social science as often happens in the study of the Philippines thus diverges from social reality, according to Alfred W. McCoy (1994, 1). At present, there is still a lacking scholarly analysis of either individual Filipino families or family-based oligarchies. While other Southeast Asian societies have produced some useful biographies and autobiographies, the Southeast Asian regions still have little nondynastic family history that can serve as a model for future Philippine research (McCoy 1994, 2). One of the provinces in the Philippines that have no study about family-based politics is Aklan. The Province of Aklan is located in the Northeast portion of Panay Island. It was the oldest province in the Philippines organized in 1213 by settlers from Borneo as the “Minuro it Akean.” In 1565 Miguel Lopez de Legaspi landed in Aklan, and divided the “Minuro it Akean” five encomiendas which he...
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