Public Sphere

The public sphere is an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action. It is "a discursive space in which individuals and groups congregate to discuss matters of mutual interest and, where possible, to reach a common judgment." The public sphere can be seen as "a theater in modern societies in which political participation is enacted through the medium of talk" and "a realm of social life in which public opinion can be formed".

The public sphere mediates between the "private sphere" and the "Sphere of Public Authority", "The private sphere comprised civil society in the narrower sense, that is to say, the realm of commodity exchange and of social labor." Whereas the "Sphere of Public Authority" dealt with the State, or realm of the police, and the ruling class, the public sphere crossed over both these realms and "Through the vehicle of public opinion it put the state in touch with the needs of society." "This area is conceptually distinct from the state: it a site for the production and circulation of discourses that can in principle be critical of the state." The public sphere 'is also distinct from the official economy; it is not an arena of market relations but rather one of discursive relations, a theater for debating and deliberating rather than for buying and selling." These distinctions between "state apparatuses, economic markets, and democratic associations...are essential to democratic theory." The people themselves came to see the public sphere as a regulatory institution against the authority of the state. The study of the public sphere centers on the idea of participatory democracy, and how public opinion becomes political action.

The basic belief in public sphere theory is that political action is steered by the public sphere, and that the only legitimate governments are those that listen to the public sphere. "Democratic governance rests on the capacity of and opportunity for citizens to engage in enlightened debate". Much of the debate over the public sphere involves what is the basic theoretical structure of the public sphere, how information is deliberated in the public sphere, and what influence the public sphere has over society.

Read more about Public Sphere:  Jürgen Habermas: Bourgeois Public Sphere, Counter Publics, Feminist Critiques and Expansions, Rhetorical Public Sphere, Counter Publics: Proletarian Public Spheres, and Public Spheres of Production, Non-liberal Theories of The Public Sphere

Other articles related to "public sphere, public, public spheres, spheres, publics":

Pay Wall - Ethical Implications - Deterioration of The Online Public Sphere
... can function as a specialized or smaller-scale public sphere." In the past, the internet has been an ideal location for the general public to gather and discuss relevant ... Erecting a paywall restricts the public’s open communication with one another by restricting the ability to both read and share online news ... The obvious way in which a paywall restricts equal access to the online public sphere is through requiring payment, deterring those who do not want to pay, and barring those who cannot from joining the online ...
Non-liberal Theories of The Public Sphere
... By the end of the 20th century the discussions about public spheres got a new biopolitical twist ... Traditionally the public spheres had been contemplated as to how free agents transgress the private spheres ... suggested that we reconsider the very distinction between public and private spheres ...
Michael Warner
... He is the author of Publics and Counterpublics, The Trouble With Normal Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life, The English Literatures of America, 1500-1800, Fear of a ... His first book, The Letters of the Republic Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America, established him as a leading scholar in Early American literature, print culture, and public ... He later became a public figure in the gay community for his book The Trouble with Normal, in which Warner contended that queer theory and the ethics of a queer life serve as critiques of existing ...
Social Implications of Communicative Action
... Habermas' earlier work, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, anticipates his concern for argumentation and can be read retrospectively ... Habermas notes the rise of institutions of public debate in late seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain and France especially ... adapted to novel purposes and were employed as an outlet for the public use of reason ...
Aufklaerung - Historiography - Recent Work
... his seminal work The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (published under the title Strukturwandel der Öffentlicheit in 1962) was translated ... outlines the creation of the "bourgeois public sphere" in 18th century Europe ... Essentially, this public sphere describes the new venues and modes of communication allowing for rational exchange that appeared in the 18th century ...

Famous quotes containing the words sphere and/or public:

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