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Habermas and the Media

Habermas and the Media

Hartmut Wessler

ISBN: 978-1-509-53092-2

May 2018, Polity

200 pages


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Jürgen Habermas is arguably the most influential social theorist and philosopher of the twentieth century, and his imprint on media and communication studies extends well into the twenty-first. This book lucidly unpacks Habermas’ sophisticated contributions to the study of media centring around the three core concepts for which his work is most known: the public sphere, communicative action, and deliberative democracy.
Habermas and the Media offers an accessible introduction as well as a critical investigation of how Habermas’ thinking can help us to understand and assess our contemporary communication environment and where his framework needs revision and extension. The book seeks to address questions such as:
How does deliberative democracy fare in comparison to its main normative rivals: liberal, republican, and agonistic democracy?

How deliberative are discussions presented on television, in political blogs, and on Twitter?

What is the role of emotions in mediated deliberation?
Full of original and sometimes surprising insights, this book is essential reading for scholars and students of media, political communication, and democracy, as well as anyone seeking guidance through Habermas’ rich world of thought.

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  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Figures and Tables
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: The Bourgeois Public Sphere and its Critics
  • Chapter 2: Nurturing Communicative Action
  • Chapter 3: Media for Deliberative Democracy
  • Chapter 4: Mediated Public Spheres
  • Chapter 5: Deliberative Qualities of News and Discussion Media
  • Chapter 6: Non-Deliberative Media Discourse
  • Chapter 7: Counterpublics and the Role of Emotions
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Index