Participatory democracy through the independent public sphere could be successful if it is carried out with rationality. Political discussions should be devoid of emotions but critical arguments. It is also imperative that the participants will stick to the objective of shelling out the truth. In order to convey only the truth, an autonomous public sphere within a democracy should be able to compromise status discrepancies (Habermas as cited in Lemert 382-383). All participants should stand on an equal ground. In modern democracies, concentration of power and domination is not as close as to being legitimate or publicly acceptable. According to Habermas, the public sphere should be revived so that publicity will not be used as an instrument of manipulation and deceit. It is essential nowadays to maximize public opinions so as to form a logical agreement for the benefit of the majority. Public opinion is powerful in itself. It can serve as a preventive mechanism against the generation of monopolies which are capable of usurping power and control from the general public (Habermas as cited in Kivisto 76-78). The mass media in the United States is the domicile of the nation’s public sphere. The media is a powerful conduit for public discussions. Status and racial differences are thwarted in the printed and broadcast media because of its accessibility to all. Average American citizens are exposed to a variety of media: newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and nowadays the internet. Public opinions are largely affected by the information delivered from the media channels. The consequences of the media to the American public have massive domino effect since it can, in turn, dictate the formation of power relations and admittance to power. In the modern democratic framework of the American nation, media has the first-hand in manipulating voters’ decisions.
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This essay describes book The Structural Formation of the Public Sphere by Jurgen Habermas. This public sphere will be the melting pot of different ideas and intellect from the citizens. In this form of communication, crucial public opinions may be formed…
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