Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Week 2 : More on the Public Sphere

I really liked the Was There Ever a Public Sphere article and what is said about how people talk about a golden age when things used to be different. I also really liked what the article said about how TV fails to inform people and it also tricks them into believing that they were informed. I think this statement is very fitting of the time that we live in now. So much of the new that we see on TV is from a very partial source and is sometimes very tainted with personal opinions of the station. This leads people to believe certain things that are not facts, but instead opinions. I think this is something that contributes to the problem of participation in the American system. If people are given opinionated and conflicting information it makes participation in the public sphere.
I really like Habermas’ definition of the public sphere given in the Geoff Eley article. It was very comprehensive and touched on all of the bases of what I personally believe the public sphere to be. The only thing I did not agree with in this definition was where it talked about how access is guaranteed to all citizens. While I do think that in an ideal world access to the public sphere would be available to all citizens, we do not live in an ideal world. In our country people do not have equal access to the public sphere just like they do not have equal access to other resources.
I also really liked what the Geoff Eley article said about the discussion of gender in relation to the public sphere. I really liked what it said about the domestic sphere that women were and are sometimes tied to because of their gender. I really liked how the article talked about how men are given the power and in turn access to the public sphere while women are expected to be silent on these matters and participate in the domestic sphere and the things associated with that. I think that while some of the argument is antiquated, some aspects of it can still be seen in our world today. There are still places and people who believe that are certain things that women should not be involved in and that these things should be left to the men to decide. I think that in this day and time everyone should be equal, but I also realize that this is not the case. Not only are women not equal to men, but certain races are looked at as superior to other races.

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