Public Sphere

Decent Essays
The formation of a public sphere in societies allowed these to tear down existing feudalism, and build up democracies in its place. German sociologist and philosopher, Jurgen Habermas, explains how the construction of a bourgeois public sphere enables democratic power to be shaped in a civilisation in his book “The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere” written in German in 1962, and translated to English in 1989. The former thesis became pivotal in the subject area as the media plays an important role in the formation of general public opinion. The issues discussed in a public sphere would be general in both their significance and accessibility, as one of the ideals of the public sphere centers in overall citizen participation (Habermas, …show more content…
On one hand, the media plays a role in the scrutinizing of the government, addressing audiences as citizens rather than costumers, forming citizenship in such manner. At the same time, the media also plays an informative role in society: distributing information necessary for citizens to make informed choices during election periods, and shape governmental conduct by articulating the views of the mass (Curran, 1991). Therefore, media texts should aim for plurality to be the foundation for civilian contemplated actions in a system. Habermas intends for competition to occur in the public sphere in order for it to become an open market place for ideas and opinion. The freedom of the press means the detachment of such from governmental censorship; conversely, due to large businesses taking over media organizations, this freedom for plurality is suppressed by the hegemonic power in the newsroom (Fraser, 1992). Taking Rupert Murdoch’s ownership of numerous media organizations as an example, one can see how the media’s plurality has been “driven by economics rather than by journalism” (Shawcross, 1992, pp. 227). Evidently, the public sphere has been evolving and changing the way in which the media acts in it due to the growth of private businesses in the public discourse …show more content…
Many argue for this thesis to be one of the most concrete historical sociological texts in contemporary literature. Because of Habermas, the relationship between civil society and public life has turned into a pivotal topic within various areas of study, including the media. Focusing on the bourgeois public sphere and the way in which such emerged, he scrutinises capitalist societies due to their industrial growth and the intensifying of mass media. Through describing the public sphere as a space in which individuals can come together to discuss public matters that affect their daily lives, Habermas’ main aim is to generate both a more politically active and informed community. At the same time, Habermas aims to focus on the creation of a democracy that stands under a socioeconomic structure, who’s objective is to treat media audiences as citizens rather than consumers of the media texts. Doubtlessly, “The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere” is of great importance within media studies as it represents the ideal environment for discourse to take place

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