Ed by Craig Calhoun see bibliography shows wide range of responses to his work scholars in English political theory and philosophy respond to Habermas in this volume Responses are so varied because so many different elements are present in Habermas s work Historians criticise the factual basis of many of his claims about the publishing industry about economic history and bourgeois culture More abstract theorists challenge his assumptions about a range of issues Feminist scholars for example argue that Habermas neglects the importance of gender and of the exclusion of women from the public sphere This is a point that Habermas has recently concededTheorists have attempted to work out the implications of the Structural Transformation for modern political theory This perhaps a difficult task as the second half of the book is problematic and less satisfying than the first Habermas s debates about public reason with the US philosopher John Rawls are well known Also many writers have attempted to apply Habermas s model of the bourgeois public sphere to other countries and periods They have tried to find the public sphere in America the Far East and a host of other unlikely places There is a tendency for these projects to misrepresent Habermas s original idea of the public sphere Given that he makes it clear that the public sphere was inseparably related to the social and economic conditions of eighteenth century Europe these attempts do not always seem worth the effort Almost all histories of publishing and the book trade such as those of the US historian Robert Darnton react to Habermas s ideasHabermas himself has attempted to answer his critics In his essay Further reflections on the public sphere he revises his position in several ways Firstly he admits some problems with the historical basis of his work He also suggests other areas for consideration namely one the possibility of a popular or plebian public sphere with a different social basis in which popular culture is not merely a backdrop to representative publicity two a reconsideration of the role of women in the bourgeois public sphere three a need to develop a less pessimistic view about the modern mass public Some of the issues about public discourse and the role of the state raised in the Structural Transformation reemerge in later works such as his Theory of Communicative Action and Legitimation Crisis Habermas has changed so many of his positions however that it is unwise to see his work on public sphere as a basis for his later philosophy This is the ur text of publics theory I m glad I read it like I m glad when I eat healthy food Habermas bourgeois pubic sphere is a seminal contribution to the Frankfurt School Retold in fairy tale language for a class assignmentIn a distant past there existed a feudal society and in this society there was not et a public sphere In fact public referred to nobility and everyone else was common 6 However with the rise of capitalism and the bourgeois class came the commercial trade in news 15 and a public sphere began to emerge between the private sphere of life and the government 23 This public sphere was composed of the bourgeoisie mostly male property owners who used reason to debate public issues 27 29 In western Europe and America these citizens engaged in dialogue in coffee shops newspapers and letters that is they debated in largely private spaces that created publics Public opinion began to develop but this wasn t the public opinion we conceive of today instead it was formed through public debate not through polling or other modern mechanisms 66An aim of the public sphere was to abolish the domination of the state and constitutional governments were set up to connect the law to public opinion 81 82 A central value of the bourgeois public sphere was inclusiveness that as the bourgeoisie grew so too would access to the public sphere However as the public enlarged public opinion changed from the result of ongoing dialogue to a coercive force 133 This is largely because as the liberal state became a welfare state it encroached on the private lives of people or stateized society 142 the public sphere became less politicized 140 In part this was caused as economic struggles became political struggles and the state began to protect families and individuals through education workers rights laws and welfare 155 Consumer culture also arose so that a debating public sphere was replaced by an advertising public sphere public debate became administered and consumed 164 The state began to address its citizens like consumers 195 Public opinion and propaganda began to be used in order to gain good will and justify legislation 177 The public sphere became refeudalized by the state and others looking to gain publicityThe bourgeois public sphere has since passed away and in its stead we have the modern notions of public opinion and publicity as well as private individuals not engaged in a public rational debate Good bye dear bourgeois public sphere You are misse. Legitimation and communication foreshadowed in this lucid study of the origins nature and evolution of public opinion in democratic societie.
review Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft
Ped of social rank and deference and conducted entirely on the basis of reasoned arguments He ties this public sphere strongly to classical Liberalism which supported the ideals of individual rights but only insofar as those rights were tied to property ownership and freedom of ideas information expression and assemblyOne of the things I find most fascinating about Habermas description of the public sphere and its Liberal partisans is how anti democratic this sphere and philosophy was an anti democratic tendency revived today in neoliberalism at least by the etymological definition of democracy the authority of the people The late Liberal era developed or seized upon the idea of representative democracy precisely as a way of preventing non property owners women the working classes and the poor from effectively engaging in politics The idea was and I think we see this in how contemporary US and UK politics runs that if the people could only vote for leaders rather than vote on issues then effective power would remain in the hands of property owners because they would have the leisure time and education to construct political platforms in essence we get to endorse someone s platform rather than having our own opinions on issuesOriginal Review I didn t get all the way through this book but I read a decent sized chunk of it considering how much other stuff I had to do this week I read this for a class But I think I got the major idea Habermas argues that the rise of a specifically bourgeois public sphere as opposed to the ancient and feudal conceptions of publicness was based in the rise of critical rational debate or in the age of reason He argues that the bourgeois public sphere began during the era of the coffee houses and salons when ostensibly anyone could join in discussions of contemporary political economic and philosophical issues based on reason of course in practice access to education leisure and reading material excluded many people from the public realm of debate If this wasn t assigned reading I probably would ve enjoyed this much that or I would ve never picked it up I m glad it s over anyways okay es its dense and wordy and translated from german but it kind of is like a political sociology epic poem smash together my high school modern european history class from high school with my freshman ear college political philosophy course with the word bourgeois sprinkled throughout and ou get a flavor its fun to watch the public sphere evolve from feudalism to high industrial capitalism era i m sure i didnt glean whole swaths of it but what i did get i enjoyed Several important influences on Habermas s work are evident Firstly he borrows many important terms and categories from Kant Hegel and Marx Many of his ways of thinking about the public sphere are explicitly Kantian and he develops Hegel s central category of civil society into the basis from which public opinion emerges Of these Kant is perhaps the greatest influence simply because for Habermas his work represents the fully developed theory of the public sphereThe Marxist cultural theory of the Frankfurt School is also an important influence particularly on the second part of the Structural TransformationThe Frankfurt School was a group of philosophers linked to the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt active from the 1920s on Two of its most famous names were Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno The Frankfurt School adapted Marx s theories greatly in order to study modern culture and society They took the unorthodox view that the experience of totalitarianism in the Second World War showed that the lower classes or proletariat had become corrupted by mass culture They could no longer act as a revolutionary force Their pessimism about what social force might replace the proletariat increased as the twentieth century progressed Adorno is well known for his critiue of the modern culture industry which manipulated the public creating consumers of the mass media rather than critical readers Habermas draws on this savage criticism of modern society and culture in his treatment of advertising and the pressA personal influence was the German legal scholar Wolfgang Abendroth who supervised Habermas s original thesis at Marburg after it was rejected by Horkheimer and Adorno in Frankfurt Abendroth s work analyzed the relationship between the social welfare principle and the inherited structure of the German constitutional state He argued that the Federal German constitution aimed to extend the ideas of euality and welfare and that a socialist democratic state could emerge from its constitutional predecessor Habermas moved away from this concept of the development of states but acknowledges his debt to Abendroth in the dedidcation to the Structural TransformationHabermas s influence over other writers is considerable It has recently become evident in the English speaking world with the publication of a translation of the Structural Transformation An important collection of essays edit. Riod It will be a revelation to those who have known Habermas only through his theoretical writing to find his later interests in problems of.
The thing that I don t understand about this book is how Habermas spends the last hundred pages of it constantly referring back to a previously existing public sphere and analyzing the conseuences of its loss after spending the first half of the book seemingly making clear that there never was a fully functioning public sphere in the strict sense he analyzes how the Greeks and the coffee houses and salons of the 18th century where only able to think of their interests as objectively general because the public spheres were small gatekept ponds of discussion composed of people who could only enjoy the supposed separation of their private lives from the public by virtue of their own domination of slaves the penurious masses women the patriachal domination of the conjugal family etc and that once ou scratched this surface as happened in the 19th century it was revealed to be ideology and one group s interests rather than a general interest In other words it only ever appeared to be a public sphere because of its unacknowledged reliance on a social hegemony that was simply taken for granted It seems to me that the fully functional public sphere Habermas laments losing never actually existed beyond the mythological form on which democracy is predicted Writing a summary of this book as a fairy tale as another reviewer has done seems spot on Part historical overview think the Chartist Movement and the February Revolution part philosophical exploration everyone from Bayle to Hobbes to Rousseau to Locke part political science debate the social welfare state vs the liberal democracy Jurgen Habermas s The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere An Inuiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society delineates the outlines of the author s thesis with care and erudition leading to a work which eases its reader into a discussion of its main elements with rigorousness and supreme clarity Beginning with an initial Demarcation of a Type of Bourgeois Public Sphere the book goes on to outline the role the traditional bourgeois family had through its cultivation of interiority and concommitant engagement with the public sphere on informing and creating a rational critical informed analysis and dialogue with the political public sphere Delving deep into this area Habermas lucidly delineates the role in the critical 18th century that the middle class family with its development of literary engagement with the self and society had in creating the environment that made possible the great et short lived existence of liberal democracy Moreover Habermas also dialectically describes the ideology of this period and its subseuent developments in a particularly enlightening discussion of thinkers as diverse as Marx Hobbes and Locke All through these introductory chapters the ideas are presented with a lucidity and clearness that both goes far to make clear the sometimes obscuredifficult concepts involved as well as bring the reader along gently in almost a classically narrative sense Developing the history of the publicprivate sphere dialectic even Habermas also discusses the historical development of the journal and newspaper discussing cogently how technological developments and the negative influence of capitalism weakened this once strong and vigorous voice of the informed public But perhaps the most compelling aspect of the work is saved for the end where Habermas acknowledging the transition from the Bourgeois state to the Social Welfare state outlines the growth of publicity and the public sphere in a world where public relations artifically molds what was once an authentic voice publicity into a easily manipulable form of false consciousness However not all is completely bleak for Habermas postulates a future where rational consensus can return And while this may seem like just a fig leaf of hope perhaps it is all we can wish for in our debased times Habermas ou re a helluva humanist thinker I can t complain about the man s motives this is the sort of ualitative commentary that stands on its own merits rather than feeling like the speculations of some dude in a bourgeois university position in Paris or New YorkBut when he tries to claim that the public sphere has degenera Second Review Habermas presents a strong case for understanding the history of the public sphere tied primarily to the interests of a bourgeois reading class during the Liberal era roughly mid 18th 10th centuries evolving out of a coffeehouse and salon culture and then mutating into different forms that eroded the rational critical aspect of the public sphere while and by expanding democratic political participationWhat Habermas means by the public sphere is a rational critical space where educated and propertied which were almost universally the same thing during this period individuals could gather together to discuss issues of common interest literary artistic political economic social etc The central aspect of this public sphere was a debate between educated people which was ostensibly strip. This is Jürgen Habermas's most concrete historical sociological book and one of the key contributions to political thought in the postwar pe.
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Jürgen Habermas is a German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and American pragmatism He is perhaps best known for his work on the concept of the public sphere the topic of his first book entitled The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere His work focuses on the foundations of social theory and epistemology the analysis of advanced capitalistic societies