Social media and the public sphere

Jurgen Habermas

“the public sphere is rooted in networks for the wild flows of messages – news, reports, commentaries, talks, scenes and images” (p. 415)

From Habermas, J. (2006) “Political Communication in Media Society: Does Democracy Still Enjoy an Epistemic Dimension? The Impact of Normative Theory on Empirical Research.” Communication Theory 16(4): 411-26.

Habermas argued that a public sphere adequate and appropriate to democratic states or polities relied upon two things:

  1. quality of discourse
  2. quantity of participation

And although this is an extremely rudimentary understanding of Habermas’ works, I can’t help but think that you could substitute ‘public sphere’ for MOOCs here, and it’d still be true…