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Public Sphere

Public sphere is a normative and historical concept that refers to the politically significant space(s) in society created by public discourse. This discourse is concerned with debating social and political issues of moral importance to the public and is both “rational” and “critical” in nature. As discussed in the work of German critical theorist Jürgen Habermas, the public sphere is said to be declining in modern society due to the spread of consumer culture. In the modern, mass-mediated public sphere, the public consumes culture rather than debates it. Relationships of consumption are therefore taking over a number of spaces in society, including spaces for public discourse and political participation. Habermas suggests that in modern societies the “citizen role” is declining, and the “consumer role” growing. ...

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