Public Sphere

1857 words 8 pages
“The idea that a public sphere to which everyone can contribute on equal terms is simply a fantasy.”
To believe that there exists a public sphere where every single member contributes on an equal level is highly unrealistic. Correspondingly, many academics have critically supported as well as argued against this view. There will be discussion of the public sphere and various writer’s views and concepts regarding it, with specific references to Howley (2007) and Turnbull (2006), as well as Hackett (2010), Holub (1994), Apppadurai (2000), Meikle (2008), and Fraser (1990). The different academics will introduce and discuss; an ideal and flawed public sphere, a democratic public sphere, and the important roles of audiences and participants.
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Moreover, public spheres are relevant in today’s new social media’s like Twitter, Facebook and various blogs. They create an arena in which social sites, like these, generate meanings which are then distributed and discussed amongst a large audience, consequently becoming a public sphere and letting interaction occur with all its participants. This emergence of social media has called for a new public sphere to be formed. Meikle (2008) discusses how media is an integral aspect of the public sphere and that in present society, it is inescapable. Media plays an obligatory part; today’s “newspapers and magazines, [internet,] radio and television are the media of the public sphere” (Habermas in Meikle, 2008, p. 128). However, for Habermas this role that media plays is an issue, stating that the world shaped by the mass media is only a public sphere on the exterior; only in ‘appearance’ and nothing else. Though the public sphere cannot be regarded as equal, Meikle does suggest that it can be look at in a positive sense; regarding it as a useful standard against which we can measure how the media actually do operate (Meikle, 2008, p. 131).
Furthermore, Habermas’ ideal public sphere has often been said that it is being compromised by contemporary tabloid media and culture. It produces a blur between the private and public spheres in regards to celebrity culture and making their private lives a public concern and discussion. As well as


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