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Media economy and society - Essay Example

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Media economy and society

According to Habermas, during the feudal economic system, matters of concern were handled by the church and the state and private individuals remained dominant. However, industrialisation and transformation of the feudal economy brought about the emergence of bourgeoisies. These individuals were subordinates to the proletariat and ruling class and had no say in running of the government. Enlightenment brought about by availability of cultural products such as newspapers and journals. The public sphere was a regulatory institution against the authority of state and entailed discursive relations rather than market relations associated with an economic system. It thus entailed political participation through medium of talk such as the coffee houses, societies and salons. It was free of class or race divisions, the issues discussed were the common good of all. One may tend to think that since the public sphere entailed discussions by the bourgeoisies, the medial had no role to play. However, media in form of publications was very crucial in providing information that served as basis for the discussions and consequently political action (Hauser, 1998). ...
sk, “If the media was vital in enhancing public debate, how is it that it replaced the public sphere?” Mediums such as newspapers provided information to bourgeoisies that became subject of debate. However, advancements in the media overturned this rational-critical debate by private individuals. In the 1950s, the TV was the mostly used form of public sphere. The TV is informative to the consumers in regards to most of political and economic issues. However, the TV as a form of public sphere is not interactive; the viewers become consumers of information rather than participants. Moreover, unlike the coffee houses, salons and public assemblies the individuals consume the information in privacy of their homes thus no debate takes place. Besides, the media does not seek the opinions of the views. The privatisation of individual interests has the effect of disintegrating the society. Social gatherings where public opinions are formed and discussed are eroded thus undermining democracy and encouraging the emergence of totalitarian states associated with the capitalist economy (Herbamas, 1989). The media rather than providing information on economic and political issues are used as medium of advertising thus encouraging consumerism and capitalist economies. However, this view is often criticized since there are other forms of media or cultural products that enhance interactions among users hence public sphere is viewed as still in existence. For instance, growth of the internet has led to information explosion and increased interactions between individuals through social networks such as face book and twitter. These allow for participation by individuals in discussion of matters of concern hence contributing to public sphere (Fraser, 1990). For example, during the Arab ...Show more


Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Public Sphere The public sphere is an area in social life where individuals gather and discuss freely societal problems thus influencing political action (Hauser, 1998). It is based on the belief that the public sphere can steer political action hence legitimate the government and success depends on engagement of citizens in enlightened debate…
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Media economy and society essay example
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