To start with, public sphere (or public space) which is higlighted and conceptualized by Jürgen Habermas can be described as the areas of interaction within its contributers in fields of political and social issues. To make this notion more dramatized, public spheres are the places like coffee houses in which people gathers and sicuss abut the agenda. However, I believe that, it is not true to limit public spheres as coffee housed. Any place can be a public sphere where people meet and discuss. In this sense, we can include theatres, meetings, formal and informal conventions to the definition. Public sphere plays a significant role in producing public opinion.
However, as our world grows more global and interconnected, people are now being linked to each other excessively. At this stage, it becomes possible to make some modifications for the definition of public sphere. Hereby, I would like to menion dictionaries which are very popular in our country. These digital public spheres give chance to people to gather in virtual place and discuss about the agenda. In ‘ekşisözlük’, ‘itüsözlük’ and ‘uludagsözlük’ there are thousands of people interconnected to each other.
Apart from this, can we give Facebook and Twitter as an example of public sphere? My opinion is partly yes and partly no. The reason for this, even though there is an interaction within followers and followed ones, the communication stage is not two step most of the time. That means, sometimes most people ignore what is shared; sometimes there is a limited space and time to discuss about the agenda which is not sufficient in order to produce public opinion. Nevertheless, these social media tools can be considered as a good way to disseminate the latest topics.
To come back our main concern, dictionaries, they are more likely to be considered as public spheres. In my opinion, virtual world give chance to people to be connected to each other. In recent years, modern social construction gives people almost no chance to meet in large numbers like it is used to be (for example in the ancient Greek gatherings).
– Dahlgren, P. (1995). Television and the Public Sphere: Citizenship, Democracy and the media. London: Sage Publications.
– Habermas, J. (1991). The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Massachusetts: MIT Press.