public sphere

The “public sphere” refers to a social realm in which private citizens come together to discuss matters of common concern to form public opinions.

A portion of the public sphere comes into being in every conversation in which private individuals assemble to form a public body.

“a sphere which mediates between society & state, in which the public organizes itself as a bearer of public opinion.”  Habermas

  • often oriented toward governing institutions

  • facilitates argument by providing forums for citizen interaction.

The public sphere refers to a space created through discourse.

  • a social space generated when citizens gather to discuss issues of mutual concern.

  • space in a metaphorical not physical sense.

The public sphere does not refer to an institutional structure or physical location.

  • discourse may occur in clubs, workplaces, homes, governmental settings, street corners, etc.

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