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The Evolution of the "Public Sphere"


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The Evolution of the "Public Sphere"

  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>
  3. 3. We then moved to… <ul><li>Television (which isolated people) </li></ul>
  4. 4. And Now…. <ul><li>The Internet </li></ul>
  5. 5. 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>
  6. 6. 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>
  7. 7. 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>
  8. 8. 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>
  9. 9. Discussion…. <ul><li>Has the Internet decentralized communication and enhanced democracy? If so, how? </li></ul><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 new “public sphere?” Why or why not? </li></ul>