Public Sphere

 The public sphere is quickly defined by Habermas in the article as “a realm of our social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed. Public sphere and idealogy are closely related since much idealogy can be formed in the public sphere. Multiple thoughts, ideas and opinions are shared in the public sphere with the hope to impact society in a certain way. The public sphere model on a large scale is quite meaningless because it is impossible to spread your own idea to the mass public without the message running through filters. 

In my highschool we had a weekly forum to discuss anything that was happening throughout the school. I look at that as our public sphere as students to bring up any ideas we had to improve any aspect of our society within the school. As habernams says “access is guaranteed to all citizens” during this forum access was definitely guaranteed to all students and many changes came about from those forums. The school was only the society of the students and faculty so it is a much smaller scale then the actual body of public relating to this country as a whole. Also stated in the article when dealing with this large body a ‘specific means of transmitting information’ has to be used. The specific mean would have to be any medium of media such as tv, newspaper, radio and internet. This is now when free and equal discourse becomes extremely difficult because not many voices have the power to transmit their message. In school all we had to do was get up to the microphone and share our thoughts. Today you need to get through many filters to have your thoughts published or aired on TV. Even with elected officials to help speak for us large bodies, they too are filtered throughout the megapower special interests who can actually pump money into campaigns and make or break candidates. 

I don’t beleive the public sphere can accurately exist on the large scale. Propaganda always comes into play since the powers of media have alternate motives $$. Marx and Engels are correct when explaining “the class which is the ruling material force of society is at the same time its rulling intelectual force”. They have the power to feed us so much skewed information and one sided ideas that eventually we will be influenced and think as they would like us too.


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