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The Public Sphere

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Juan Carlos Arias

on 10 September 2010

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Transcript of The Public Sphere

Habermas and The Public Sphere Main argument Thinking about the possibility and conditions of a public sphere in what Habermas calls the “Social Welfare State Mass Democracy”. “Refeudalization”: Disappearance of the limits between the political authorities and the social powers. It is necessary to reestablish the critical function of reasoning public against state. Historical development Ancient Greek. Opossition between Polis and Oikos. Emergence of the Agora. 1. Pre-modern societies (Feudalism):
- No public sphere.
- Representative publicness. 2. Bourgeois societies: liberal model of public sphere. Conditions of the public sphere: (1) Free access to information. (2) Reasoning public. (3) Opened discussions in public spaces.
Transformation of the concept of Representation

Causes: A. Mercantile capitalism and national states. B. Daily political newspapers. C. Sociality centers. Equality spaces. 3. Contemporary societies: Decline of the public sphere. A. The state as welfare administrator

B. Decline and change of institutions and spaces that used to work as condition of the public sphere


Causes of the decline Assumptions and
Critical approach Historical perspective 1. Importance of popular public movements 2. Excluding perspective of the Public Sphere 3. Transformation of communication spaces Conceptual perspective Assumption of rational dialogue Conditions of a
rational consensus:

A. Shared spaces
B. Equality of participants
C. Common language Contributions to
communication field Should media always promote social consensus?

It is possible to recover the critical sense of the literary press today? How is it possible to produce a contemporary publizität (process of making proceedings public)?

Which are the spaces of discussion that current media open?

Beyond the problem of the presence of private interests in media, there are other issues that impede media become a space of free information?
Doria, Dario (2002), "Grissinopoli" “The policies applied and developed in Argentina during the ‘90s resulted in the deepest social, political and economic crisis of all times in the country. At the beginning of 2002, the official figures stated that 57,5% of the population live below the poverty line while the 27,5% live in complete indigence. Thousands of small and medium enterprises have shut down and millions of people have lost their job sources. In this context, having no other way out, many workers decide to occupy and self-manage their indebted companies in an attempt to prevent them from disappearing”. Bibliography
Habermas, Jürgen. (1974). The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article (1964). New German Critique, No. 3. (Autumn): 45–48.

Thompson, John B. (1990). Ideology and Modern Culture. Critical Social Theory in the Era of Mass Communication. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Rancière, Jacques. (1999). Disagreement: politics and philosophy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Diagnosis and proposition a. Change in the meaning of the cafés and meeting spaces

b. From literary journalism to commercial mass media

i. From Publizität to "publicity"
ii. Politic of spectacle. Pseudo-participation of people Consensus v.s. Disagreement

Jacques Rancière defines disagreement as “a determined kind of speech situation: one in which one of the interlocutors at once understands and does not understand what the other is saying” (1999). Eley, Geoff (1999). "Nation, Publics and Political Cultures:Placing Habermas in the Nineteenth Century" in Calhoun, Craig (ed.). "Habermas and the Public Sphere". MIT Press: Cambridge. Landes, Joan (1988). “Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution”. Cornelle University Press: Ithaca.
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