The Importance Of The Public Sphere

Entry 1: Today we discussed the public sphere. In summary, we discussed the emergence of the “mass audience”, the low/high culture binary, and determining where the idea of “the public” comes from. We have a conception of the public sphere from the bourgeois class. The set ideal is that of a private (civil society) and the public (state-mediates crises). This public sphere is formed and operated through the norms of publicity. There are five norms that make up publicity: status as person is ignored, discussion of common concern/import, inclusiveness of all views, equality of admission, and the emotion bracketed in favor of reason. The discussion of common concern/import essentially means that everyone has a stake in the topic of discussion. …show more content…
For example, Kylie Jenner is known for her beauty transformation. She went from a typical white female teenager to one that assimilated into the black culture. Her doing so sparked controversy, and yet people found her transformation beautiful. Her big lips, plump behind, and tiny waist is what the public was attracted to. This is our stake in the common concern, we have continued to set beauty guidelines that we have to abide by because of the new standard of beauty. The norm, emotion is bracketed in favor of reason, means that we as the public avoid emotion or keep our emotion in check. So, now that we can understand the general norms of publicity, the public sphere is formed. This public sphere is ideological and holds the collective beliefs, values, and attitudes of a given group of people. This is the realm of social like that which the public opinion is formed. The idea of ideology in the public sphere is expanded through the idea that it operates as common sense and the masses don’t take a second to question it. This serves as a critique of the public sphere because in essence it operates unconsciously and simply supports those in …show more content…
Barnum made his first investment in what he called, Barnum’s American Museum. He had everything a typical museum would have, from paintings to sculptures to mummified bodies. Arguably, the most popular installment at P.T. Barnum’s museum was the Feejee Mermaid. Barnum claimed that he had found a mermaid and was exhibiting it at his museum. Evidently, this brought hundreds of people to the Barnum American Museum eager to see what this mermaid looked like. They could hardly believe that such a thing was real and had to see it in person. Upon arrival they realized, this wasn’t a real mermaid but rather an art project for Barnum. He sewed together the upper body of a monkey and the second half of a fish. His audience couldn’t believe that they had just been fooled. This was great for Barnum because he knew that those who were tricked would want to get their friends and family to fall for the same trick as they did. Spreading the hoax across the country and entertaining many. His purpose was to entertain people through his tricks, with the main drive and interest of his museum coming from his hoaxes. Another one of his popular hoaxes was bout the missing link between humans and apes. Entitled, “What is it?” this image displayed an African American man that Barnum used to create a fear in his audience. Those that were gullible enough to believe that the blacks were less than human. This was understandably very easy for Barnum to pull off, for the white Americans that admired

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