L'espace public au-delà de l'agir communicationnel. Quatre renversements de perspective pour sortir des impasses du modèle habermassien

Abstract : The aim of this thesis is to define a theoretical and empirical renewal of the concept of public sphere. It is based on a critical reading of Habermas' founding book and on the main scientific contributions in the field of Information Sciences. It is also an interdisciplinary work that has recourse to philosophy, litterature and linguistic studies, geography, sociology and ethnology. The field work consists in interviews with readers of regional press. All these dimensions lead me to propose four perspective reversals that allow to go beyond the limits of Habermas' conception of the public sphere. First of all, it is about refusing every idea of a golden age of the public sphere, but considering that the public sphere is a set of dynamic processes. The second point is about considering the public sphere as the symbolic place of the making of personal opinions, contrary to Habermas, who thinks it leads to public opinion, which appears to look like a fantasy rather than a scientific concept. Habermas' conception of the public sphere is univesal, unique and based on media. It is also a dead-end, that is why the third perspective reversal is about considering the public sphere as framgmented, local and based on conversation. The first three perspective reversals are nothing but necessary in order to be able to keep on studying the public sphere in a contemporary context. They allow to make the public sphere a central concept in the study of the circulation of ideas and news. But they also encounter some limits, showed by the analysis of the interviews. The question of the making of personal opinions can indeed only be treated superficially. In order to give the concept of public sphere its plain heuristic potential, we need a fourth perspective reversal, which is about getting the concept out of Habermas' theory of communicative action and integrating it into a social theory which is able to explain social relations. As far as Habermas' public sphere depends on the illusion of a society looking for mutual understanding, his concept becomes reified. On the contrary, a marxist critique of the concept, that remains open to studies on socialization processes, allows the public sphere to take account of the objective conditions and power struggles from which society is made.
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Loïc Ballarini. L'espace public au-delà de l'agir communicationnel. Quatre renversements de perspective pour sortir des impasses du modèle habermassien. Sciences de l'Homme et Société. Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis, 2010. Français. ⟨tel-00573282⟩

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