Many discuss “the public sphere” without the qualifier, as a more generalized form. Although it represented a new avenue for some people, it was restricted in terms of class and gender, given that only bourgeois men could participate (Fraser, 1992).
Habermas’s original conception includes three important elements. One is that the public sphere was formed through discussion, often mediated. Second, it represented a new space of discussion for many who had previously been excluded. Last, ideas presented in the public sphere were considered on the basis of their merits, and not on the social standing of the speaker.
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