From Print to Pixels: The Changing Landscape of the Public Sphere in the Digital Age

11 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2023

See all articles by Taha Yasseri

Taha Yasseri

University College Dublin (UCD) - Department of Sociology; University of Oxford

Date Written: August 17, 2023

Abstract

This Mini Review explores the evolution of the public sphere in the digital age. The public sphere is a social space where individuals come together to exchange opinions, discuss public affairs, and engage in collective decision-making. It is considered a defining feature of modern democratic societies, allowing citizens to participate in public life and promoting transparency and accountability in the political process. This Mini Review discusses the changes and challenges faced by the public sphere in recent years, particularly with the advent of new communication technologies such as the Internet and social media. We highlight benefits such as a) increase in political participation, b) facilitation of collective action, c) real time spread of information, and d) democratization of information exchange; and harms such as a) increasing polarization of public discourse, b) the spread of misinformation, and c) the manipulation of public opinion by state and non-state actors. The discussion will conclude with an assessment of the digital age public sphere in established democracies like the US and the UK.

Keywords: Public Sphere, Social Media, Digital Age, Online deliberation, Online communities

Suggested Citation

Yasseri, Taha, From Print to Pixels: The Changing Landscape of the Public Sphere in the Digital Age (August 17, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4543907 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4543907

Taha Yasseri (Contact Author)

University College Dublin (UCD) - Department of Sociology ( email )

Belfield
Dublin 4
Ireland

University of Oxford ( email )

1 St Giles'
University of Oxford
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

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