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  1. 1. Evolution of “The Public Sphere” Discussion Leader: Lisa Hanchinamani Information from article: “The Net as Public Sphere?” By: Mark Poster
  2. 2. Public Opinions were First Expressed in: <ul><li>Churches </li></ul><ul><li>Coffee houses </li></ul><ul><li>Town Halls </li></ul><ul><li>Required face-to face interaction and public opinions were formed </li></ul>
  3. 3. We then moved to… <ul><li>Radio </li></ul><ul><li>Television </li></ul><ul><li>These new forms isolated people </li></ul>
  4. 4. And Now…. <ul><li>The Internet </li></ul>
  5. 5. Claim <ul><li>“ Internet newsgroups and other virtual communities are being promoted as nascent public spheres that will renew democracy in the 21st century. But these claims are fundamentally misguided: they overlook the profound differences between Internet &quot;cafés&quot; and the agoras of the past. </li></ul><ul><li>Disembodied exchange of video text is not a substitute for face-to-face meeting - it has its own logic, its own ways of forming opinion. These attributes will powerfully affect the politics that emerge in our digital era.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Early Western Civilization <ul><li>People talked as equals </li></ul><ul><li>Status difference wasn’t too important </li></ul><ul><li>Rational arguments prevailed </li></ul><ul><li>Goal= consensus </li></ul>
  7. 7. Online World <ul><li>People talk as equals but: </li></ul><ul><li>Rational argument rarely prevails </li></ul><ul><li>Achieving consensus is nearly impossible </li></ul><ul><li>Dissent is encouraged </li></ul><ul><li>Poster believes the Online World doesn’t share the characteristics of western civilization’s “public sphere”, and therefore the Internet is NOT a new public sphere, but a whole new concept that will radically change democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>“ We must remember that the Net is something entirely new, and its effects on democratic politics can't be predicted using historical precedent.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why This Difference?— Identity Construction <ul><li>Traditionally, </li></ul><ul><li>Identity was rooted in the physical body causing individuals to be accountable for what they say. It allowed trust to be built amongst people. </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Allows individuals to define their own identities and change them whenever to whatever. </li></ul>
  9. 9. New Effects=Unpredictable <ul><li>The Internet: </li></ul><ul><li>Threatens the government </li></ul><ul><li>-unmonitored conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Mocks private property </li></ul><ul><li> -reproducibility of information </li></ul><ul><li>Flaunts moral propriety </li></ul><ul><li>-dissemination of pornography </li></ul>
  10. 10. Discussion…. <ul><li>Poster says “the technology of the Internet shouldn’t be viewed as a new form of public sphere. The challenge is to understand how the networked future might be different from what we have known.” </li></ul><ul><li>Do you agree?? Is the Internet a “public sphere?” Why or why not? </li></ul><ul><li>Your own questions….??? </li></ul>