What Is Meant by Public Sphere

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Sociology, Public sphere, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere
  • Pages : 6 (2231 words )
  • Download(s) : 102
  • Published : April 16, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
What is meant by 'the public sphere'? Why have feminists, in particular, found the concept problematic? Hauser (1998) denotes that a public sphere is a discursive space, in social life, where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify social problems. The public sphere differs from the certified economy; it is an area for declamation and deliberating rather than procurement and marketing. In media and sociology there are numerous definitions of a public sphere, yet Habermas primarily developed the concept. The following disquisition will discover, clarify and deliberate what is meant by ‘the public sphere’, with significant reference to Habermas’s work. And will further access the problematic features with this conception, relying intensely on feminist sentiments, with specific reference to Nancy Fraser. Hornham et al (2009) deliberate how, much inspiration of the public sphere ascended from the Greek concept ‘Agora’. Traditionally Greek citizens would meet to decide and debate matters of importance, with questions of citizenship and beliefs at the forefront of such congregations. Conversely such premature illustrations of public spheres are still scorned for having mass segregation. Only a minor 4,000 Greek citizens were incorporated in such Agora’s, while a colossal 40,000 citizens were excluded. Similar to contemporary concepts women, slaves and those deemed as inferior were all mainly debarred. Habermas (1962) was held responsible for the main development of the public sphere, with his theory often being entitled the ‘bourgeois public sphere.’ Habermas alleged that the development of such a theory was motivated by the necessity for exposed commercial arenas, where news and matters of mutual unease could be liberally exchanged. For Habermas public spheres enabled private people to amalgamate as a public community. Thus people were able to articulate, distribute and negotiate corresponding outlooks. Britain’s coffee houses, France’s salons and Germany’s ‘tischgsellschaftens’ are all examples of public spheres, all of which were labelled ‘organised discussions’. Thus geneses of the modern public sphere materialise essentially in Britain’s, coffee houses, which was consequently where the first free news articles circulated. Habermas described Britain’s coffee houses, as being the main arena for the public sphere; which were subsequently supported by 18th century liberal democracy. Democratic press was proposed to be the central tool which made such social resources available to the bourgeois class. According to Habermas (1992) as the public sphere strived and developed so did the media. Accordingly the development of strong media influence predisposed a new variation of the public sphere, which subsequently, took care of the virtuousness of the principle of publicity and public relations. The public sphere, prestructured and controlled by mass media, advanced into an arena penetrated by power. Many sociologists define the public sphere to having four key foundations. The Public sphere is described as, firstly, being self-governing; parliamentary forces would never get involved in such assemblies and discussions. Additionally the free flow of information and communication is vital for the survival of such meetings; consequently facts and figures are obtainable, which allows for permitted decisions and verdicts to be grasped and reinforced. Thirdly the public sphere propagated and developed due to it being liberal through the birth of capitalism, subsequently the public sphere became historically positioned. The last element of the public sphere is said to be ‘feudalisation’. Exploitation through monopoly and, the renovation of the media into a commercial industry, enforced corporate procedures and decisions to be determined by revenue. Although Habermas and many other sociologists strongly believe in the theory of the public sphere, many sociologists found Habermas’s concept to be extremely problematic,...
tracking img