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emily sexton-brown

on 19 April 2011

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Transcript of PUBLIC SPHERE

1. What was the specific role of the coffeehouses in the development of public sphere? How did this institution help to establish the bourgeois public sphere and what remains of it today? Freedom of speech
"places where people gathered to drink coffee, learn the news of the day, and perhaps to meet with other local residents and discuss matters of mutual concern." Brain Cowan (Historian) Different classes had to dress differently to distinguish what class they were in public (women with figurines in their hair if they were in an high class) This is a different story in the coffeehouse anyone can start a debate with any one. Coffeehouses were 'out of the norm' RICHARD SENNETT Rules of the Coffeehouse.. JURGEN HABERMAS Anyone apart from women could use the Coffeehouses to discuss general topics. Blogs - Anyone can now write a blog no matter what 'class' you fall under, blogs are a way of self expression and allows others to see an individuals thoughts on a certain topic, whatever that might be. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT SURVIVES OF THE COFFEEHOUSE IN CONTEMPORARY JOURNALISM Sennett says that the street and the stage have become one ' a society in which stage and and street were literally intermixed'

A modern way of looking at this would be the dresscode in a court room INTRODUCTION Explain briefly what a public sphere is
What points will be covered - including what Theorists will be looking at (Habermas, Sennett and Fraser)
Look at whether these opinions clash/correspond with each other
State what a bourgeois public sphere is and the idea that there are some similarities today. Theatre Mundi
'The world is a stage' OIKOS POLIS Home City The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere The fall of the Public Man The public sphere is a form of advanced society where people are free to get together and discuss and identify societal problems. Women:
Couldn't dress above their class otherwise they would be publically humillated.
Could not take part in Coffeehouse disscussions could only work in them. In the early 18th Century the establishment of civic rights allowed individual freedom of association and expression, the emergance of a free press made it possible for places such as Coffeehouses, Salons to exsist where people can freely express opinions and enter into debates. Parliament were threatened by the power of the Coffee Houses and the discussions which took place in them. Nancy Fraser Nancy Fraser citicises Habermas's critical theory because she claims that marginalised groups are excluded from a universal 'Public Sphere'

Fraser then claimed that these 'maginalised' groups formed their own form of Public Sphere and therefore became 'Counterpublics'

"Habermas stops short of developing a new, post-bourgeois model of the public sphere" Nancy Fraser 1990 Coffeehouses are 'equalisers' These points Clash - explore this point further in essay Main books I will be using..
The Structual Transformation of the Public Sphere by Jurgen Habermas
The fall of the public man by Richard Sennett These two realms are normally kept very seperate especially when referring to Sennett. Conclusion BLOGS free speech It can be argued that life outside the coffeehouse was very different to life inside the coffeehouse. The fall o f the public man Chapter - Roles page 31-32 The structural transformation of the public sphere Internet.. the new public sphere? BOURGEOIS = middle class Habermas's theory on the Public Sphere was developed before the Internet. anyone can make a blog, has this developed from this free society? Guido Fawkes blog: www.order-order.com
Paul Staines who goes by the name 'Guido Fawkes' on his blog.
He blogs about parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracies.
His blog has been described as one of 'Britains leading political blog sites'
Receieves 118,000 visitors a month
SOCIAL NETWORKING Does the bourgeois public sphere remain today and what does the future hold? People who have the same thoughts as Habermas and believe in his approach to the Public Sphere came up with the idea of using the internet as a new sphere. PRO CON The internet is open to anyone at anytime
The internet can host a platform to a vast amount of people to share views The internet is becoming fragmented
The internet has a wide range of topics and activities on it and therefore people can be more specific about what they choose to engage with which means not so much interest in a wide topic
The internet community is very large, these most of the time do not know each other therefore there is little sense of loyalty or the group being united
Everything has moved on technology-wise it is time for the public sphere to become modernised In Habermas's theory some people are excluded from the Public Sphere (the very poor and women) with the 'modern' day public sphere no-one is excluded specific role the coffeehouse had in developing public sphere -

allowed people to have their own say in a culture when no-one could express their views.
Some coffeehouses became printing houses allowing 'unofficial' newspapers to be printed and distributed, which allowed these people's thought to be heard in socitey no matter whether people dissaproved or not.
Status was very important to people in 18th century people only dressed within their class and would never speak to anyone below it, the idea of the coffeehouse changed all that, in theory it changed the way a whole era thought and therefore that developed throughout the years until now anf it is still developing.

The Internet is a new public sphere
Alot of internet trends (blogs, social networking) is just a modern take on 18th century bourgeois public sphere and therefore we still use a very old fashioned idea od expressing yourself, publishing your own opinion but because we have better technology this information can shared worldwide as opposed to just our immediate surroundings.
People can now become famous just for being bloggers 'At the beginning of the 18th Century the owners of London Coffeehouses began to edit and print newspapers' Sennett Lloyds of London began as a coffeehouse 'The turn of the 18th Century was an era in which outside the coffeehouse, social rank was of paramount importance. In order to gain knowledge and information through talk, the men of the time therefore created what was for them a fiction, the fiction that social distinctions did not exist' Habermas thought Adorno and Horkheimer's accounts of rationalisation was too 'one sided' Contemporary Journalism Same idea as Coffeehouses but have taken a different form 'On the street clothes were worn which recognisably marked one's place..the clothes had to be known, familiar bodily images if the markings were to be successful' actors were 'slaves' to the public citizen journalists Janis Krums a spectator of the Hudson river crash was the first person to upload a picture of it online 'How can people who's lives are governed by impersonal and abstract convention be so spontaneous and free to express themselves'
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