Masses, Classes and the Public Sphere

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Mike Hill, Warren Montag
Verso, 2000 - Philosophy - 276 pages
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Despite the passing of some forty years since the original publication of Jurgen Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, the fundamental concepts that informed the book remain prominent and distinctly influential. So much so that the term 'public spheres,' as Habermas introduced it, has today become  an ultimately foundational concept for assessing everything from intellectual debate and 'public access' criticism, to the function of race, gender, and sexual difference in contemporary civil society.

As new demands have been made on the concepts, so people have redefined and extended them, positing the idea of a plurality of 'counter-public spheres' (proletarian, bourgeois, feminine, national, global, for instance), and continually addressing the philosophical concept of the public sphere itself. This volume attempts to move beyond these debates to pose fundamental questions about the function and continued relevance of the public sphere today, both politically and practically. A set of distinguished essays, ranging from the philosophical foundations of the Enlightenment to contemporary struggles over civil rights and public policy, seek to highlight the internal conflicts that have marked the progressive development of Habermas's original concept.

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Masses, classes and the public sphere

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This collection explores the politics and intellectual history of J rgen Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (published in 1961 in German and in 1989 in English), one of the ... Read full review


The Public in Practice
Discourse and Practice

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About the author (2000)

Mike Hill is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Albany, New York. He is the editor of Whiteness: A Critical Reader and the author of Whiteness: Identity, Knowledge, Change.

Warren Montag is Associate Professor of English at Occidental College, Los Angeles. He is the author of Bodies, Masses, Power: Spinoza and his Contemporaries and the Unthinkable Swift.

Étienne Balibar is a French Marxist philosopher and the most celebrated student of Louis Althusser. He is also one of the leading exponents of French Marxist philosophy and the author of Spinoza and Politics, The Philosophy of Marx and co-author of Race, Nation and Class and Reading Capital.

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