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The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry Into a Category of Bourgeois Society

The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry Into a Category of Bourgeois Society

Jürgen Habermas

ISBN: 978-0-745-69414-6

Oct 2015, Polity

328 pages

$23.99

Description

This major work retraces the emergence and development of the Bourgeois public sphere - that is, a sphere which was distinct from the state and in which citizens could discuss issues of general interest. In analysing the historical transformations of this sphere, Habermas recovers a concept which is of crucial significance for current debates in social and political theory.

Habermas focuses on the liberal notion of the bourgeois public sphere as it emerged in Europe in the early modern period. He examines both the writings of political theorists, including Marx, Mill and de Tocqueville, and the specific institutions and social forms in which the public sphere was realized.

This brilliant and influential work has been widely recognized for many years as a classic of contemporary social and political thought, of interest to students and scholars throughout the social sciences and humanities.

Introduction by Thomas McCarthy.

Part I. Preliminary Demarcation of a Type of Bourgeois Public Sphere.

Part II. Social Structures of the Public Sphere.

Part III. Political Functions of the Public Sphere.

Part IV. The Bourgeois Public Sphere: Idea and Ideology.

Part V. The Social-Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere.

Part VI. The Transformation of the Public Sphere's Political Function.

Notes.

Index.

'Why is this such a vital study? Its significance rests in its analysis of one of the central notions on which both our political life and our political theories rest: 'public opinion'. Presidential candidates worry about it, the press talks about it, political scientists try to measure it, but Habermas is one of the few people to have actually sat down and tried to think about it, to ask what it means to have an 'opinion' that is not private, not idiosyncratic, but rather 'public'.'
James Schmidt, Boston University
* This early book by Habermas is in fact one of his most important works.
* The concept of the public sphere is now very topical and is directly relevant to current debates about television, newspapers, and the role of the media in politics.
* This early book by Habermas is in fact one of his most important works.
* The concept of the public sphere is now very topical and is directly relevant to current debates about television, newspapers, and the role of the media in politics.