COMM mar 19 les 10.doc

33 views4 pages
Mar. – 20 th
– 2012
Who has power? Who has the right to represent others? How have they come
to earn that title of being the representative of others?
The notion of the public is a powerful feature of our culture, and yet as almost
anyone who has looked at this question realizes that the public is very strange
and amorphous term
Generally we can say that the public is a kind of social grouping; a way of
talking about people who are grouped together around a particular purpose
For example we can talk about the voting public (group of people that come
together for a particular purpose to elect a government). We can think about
the viewing public – a group of people who come together at the same time to
watch the same show. We can also think of the Canadian pubic a group of
people tied together by citizenship
We can think about the public as a kind of social grouping, or as an object for
communication in other words, we can argue that certain kinds of
communication imagine a public.
When someone stands up in front of a group of people, they are well aware of
who they’re speaking to an understanding of who the public maybe helps us
understand the way we communicate with them and vice versa
We can think about the public in a socio economic kind of way or a
communicative way. We can also think about understanding the public by
understanding its opposite – the private
We use things like screen bloggers to prevent people from entering our private
space. Even in public places we privatize ourselves by plugging in our ear
buds, we post comments as anonymous because we want to communicate
without compromise. All of these examples here prove that our notion of public
is a way of grouping and separating.
Today focuses on a particular notion on public based on work of Habermas. In
1960, he wrote a piece called the structural transformation of the public
sphere. With the title, there is an inherent notion that Habermas is arguing
about history his point is that the area of social life which is public is historic
in nature, and he associates what we would consider to be the public sphere
with modernity. He argues that in the pre-modern period, there was no public
life in the way that we understand it. There were no places for the public to
come together and articulate. The monarchy was the source of public affairs
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