Habermas and the public sphere: the adventures of a concept

Keywords: Habermas. Public Sphere. Social movements. Critical Theory.

Abstract

The discussion of the public sphere represented a central element in the process of reconstructing Critical Theory in the second half of the 20th century, producing a major change in this theoretical tradition. This article aims to reflect the Habermasian perspective of the public sphere. First, we will emphasize how Habermas, from a youth work, “Structural Change of the Public Sphere”, discusses the emergence, in modernity, of salons, cafes and newspapers, as spaces for discussion and deliberation. However, Habermas notes that economic interests came to dominate the public sphere, in which power and money were greater forces than rational and argumentative discourses, having, furthermore, the privatization of the public space for discussion. Therefore, we will explain how the public sphere is discussed again in its most recent texts. In these, Habermas argues that contemporary civil society is composed of organizations and associations that capture the echoes of social problems, transmitting them to the political system, as well as putting the issues in the light of public discussion. Habermas highlights the existence of non-institutionalized publics capable of organizing within the scope of civil society, such as social movements, such as a type of public sphere that questions current relations.

Author Biography

Juliano Cordeiro da Costa Oliveira, Universidade Federal do Piaui

Doutor em Filosofia pela Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC). Pós-doutorado em Filosofia pela Universidade Federal do Piauí (UFPI).

References

BAKER, K. M. Defining the public sphere in eighteenth-century France: variations on a theme by Habermas. In: CALHOUN, C. (Ed.). Habermas and the Public Sphere. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992.

BENHABIB, S. Models of Public Space: Hannah Arendt, the Liberal Tradition, and Jürgen Habermas. In: CALHOUN, C. (Ed.). Habermas and the Public Sphere. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992.

FRASER, N. Rethinking the Public Sphere: a contribution to the critique of actually existing democracy. In: CALHOUN, C. (Ed.). Habermas and the Public Sphere. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992.

GIDDENS, A. As Consequências da Modernidade. São Paulo: Editora Unesp, 1991.

HABERMAS, J. Mudança Estrutural da Esfera Pública: investigações quanto a uma categoria da sociedade burguesa. Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro, 1984.

HABERMAS, J. Further Reflections on the Public Sphere. In: CALHOUN, C. (Ed.). Habermas and the Public Sphere. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992.

HABERMAS, J. Uma Conversa Sobre Questões da Teoria Política: entrevista de Jürgen Habermas a Mikael Carlehedem e René Gabriels. São Paulo: Novos Estudos Cebrap, 1997a.

HABERMAS, J. Direito e Democracia: Entre Facticidade e Validade (volume II). Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro, 1997b.

HABERMAS, J. Era das Transições. Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro, 2003.

KANT, I. Resposta à pergunta: que é esclarecimento? In: KANT, I. Immanuel Kant: textos seletos. 2. ed. Petrópolis: Vozes, 1985. p. 100-117.

THOMPSON, J. Ideologia e cultura moderna: teoria social crítica na era dos meios de comunicação de massa. Petrópolis: Vozes, 1995.

THOMPSON, J. A Mídia e a Modernidade: uma teoria social da mídia. 3.ed. Petrópolis: Vozes, 2001.

Published
2021-05-08
Section
Artigos