Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Habermas' / The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society - summary

  Habermas' / The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society - summary
Jürgen HabermasThe Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society is without a doubt on of the most important and constituting books in media studies.
In The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society Haberams articulates his famous notion of the public sphere. According to Habermas the 18th and 19th centuries saw the beginning of a new type of bourgeois public sphere that subsequently declined in the 20th century. Habermas explains the development of the public sphere from the monarchical and feudal forms it formerly took that were organized around symbolic representations of power and status. The liberal or bourgeois public sphere appeared when constitutional principles separated the private from the public domain. The bourgeois public sphere developed within the private sphere and gave rise to the democratically significant public opinion. The avant-garde of the bourgeois public sphere according to Habermas was intellectual activities in coffee-houses and salons that saw the inception of a critical attitude towards society. This type of public sphere grew in parallel to early capitalism and liberalism.
The second part of The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society relates to the transition from the bourgeois public sphere to modern mass society. Consumer capitalism began to invade the public sphere in the 20th century, blurring the separation between the private and the public, the state and civil society. The bourgeois public sphere underwent transformation in a dialectic machnism.
Habermas' The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society was later on criticized for supposing equal and open access to the public sphere which was in reality exclusive and reserved only for white bourgeois males. In order to take part in the public sphere one had to have education and property, leaving in fact the majority of the population outside the bounds of the public sphere.  
  Habermas' / The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society - summary

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