Public Sphere: Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century History

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The development of institutions and practices of open communication concerning affairs of common interest is basic to democracy. This is analyzed as involving transformations of public space from the Athenian agora to the metaphorical space of electronic communications. These spaces provide for communication among strangers as well as those joined by bonds of community; they are arenas for the expression of individual and collective identities as well as for the making of collective decisions. Analytic attention focuses largely on questions of access to publics, which is often restricted on bases such as gender, ethnicity, or citizenship. It focuses also on institutional supports for public communication, on the relationship between rational-critical communication and other forms of action in public, and on the differentiation of public communication into multiple partial publics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bourgeoisie
  • Counterpublic
  • Private
  • Public
  • Public sphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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