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Role Of The Public Sphere - Essay Example

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As far as the role of the public sphere in our lives is concerned, the media has projected it as that element of communication which basically operates in the public sphere. This public sphere or space where mass decisions are made, has come to trigger various changes apart from supporting those transitional factors which have their genesis in globalisation, post modernism, culture and multiculturalism, with deep rooted encouragement from the information age - one which is booming with each passing day.
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Role Of The Public Sphere
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Download file to see previous pages While there are people who argue that there has been widespread commodification of leisure thus leading to an extension of the same phenomena to media considering it is a medium used by majority of the people to escape from the drudgery of daily lives, there is a strong consensus that with many early surveys used to study people's patterns, there have been empirical problems in distinguishing the opinion leading to consumer and political behaviour. The question of opinion in the public sphere arises due to the fact that many changes are based on the degree of personal contact which is more often than not, dependant on the mass media. These changes have been widely distributed among people ready to change their opinion. In this way, the public sphere and the media have a mutually strong hold over each other where ushering an era of modernity are concerned.
It may be added that the public sphere is a dimension where space and geography are conceptualised to signify the factors that lead to modernism. Without the support of the media, transporting such changes to the public sphere would be next to impossible. In a similar fashion, it may be seen that the recent explosion of the information age has transported our lives to that place in time where keeping abreast with the latest on goings has become a matter of utmost and unparalleled importance.
With the development of capitalism, a new kind of public sphere consisting of enhanced institutional forms of political power has emergedFurther, a new bourgeois public sphere grew simultaneously to negotiate between these two, consisting of groups of individuals who would debate and discuss and regulate the civil society through constructive criticism. (Hamilton et al, 2002. p 12 to 16) 1
Chapter 2: Features of Public Sphere and its Importance
To find fitting answers to the question posed in the above chapter, one will have to delve deeper into the concept itself apart from to the general consensus as far as its meaning is concerned. A public sphere seems to be characterized by three main features where the first has to do with communication in a broad sense. Thus coffee shops, public hearings, town meetings, and other places where people interact with one another face-to-face are included under this criterion. Newer forms such as newspapers, broadcast media, and new venues on the Internet can also be a part of the same where the spread of awareness to garner consensus on an issue is involved.
It was in the year 1962 that the philosopher Jrgen Habermas of the renowned "Frankfurt School" in Germany, coined the expression Offentlichkeit, or "public sphere" in English. As explained by Habermans (1989)2, this concept has existed in its true sense in the UK since the 18th century where London society's coffee houses had become the centres of art and literary criticism. This had led to a gradual inclusion of the economic and the political disputes as matters of discussion. In French ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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