'in the realm of the mass media, of course, publicity has changed its meaning. orginally a function of public opinion, it has become an attribute of whatever attracts puiblic opinion: public relations and efforts recently baptized "publicity work" are aimed at producing such publicity. the public spehere itself appears as a specific domain--the public domain versus the private. sometimes the public appears simply as that sector of public opinion that happens to be opposed to the authorities. depending on the circumstances, either the organs of the state or the media, like the press, which provide communication among members of the public, maybe be counted as "public organs."'
page 3, jurgen habermas, the Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere.
"sociologically, that is to say by reference to institutional criteria, a public sphere in the sense of a separate realm distinguished from the private sphere cannot be show to have existed in the fuedal society of the high middle ages. nevertheless it was no accident that the attributes of lordship, such as the ducal seal, were called "public"; not by accident did the english king enjoy "publicness"--for lordship was something publicly represented. this publicness (or publicity) of representation was not constituted as a social realm, that is, as a public sphere; rather, it was something like a status attribute, if this term may be permitted.'
page 7, the habermas book.
early capitalism as conservative:
'on the one hand this capitalism stabilized the power structure of a society organized in estates, and on the other hand it unleashed the very elements within which this power structure would one day dissolve. we are speaking of the elements of the new commercial relationships: the traffic in commodities and news created by early capitalist long-distance trade.'
following paragraphs detail this to a larger level.
'within this political and social order transformed during the mercantilist phase of capitalism (and whose new structure found its expression precisely in the differentiation of its political and social aspects) the second element of the early capitalist commercial system, the press, in turn developed a unique explosive power.'
'for the traffic in news developed not only in connection with the needs of commerce; the news itself became a commodity. commercial news reporting was therefore subject to the laws of the same market to whose rise it owed its existence in the first place. it is no accident that the printed journals often developed out of the same bureaus of correspondence that already handled handwritten newsletters. each item of information contained in a letter had its price; it was therefore natural to increase the profits by selling to more people. this in itself was already sufficient reason periodically to print a portion of the available news material and to sell it anonymously, thus giving it publicity.
the interest of the new (state) authorities (which before long began to use the press for the purposes of the state administration), however, was of far greater import. inasmuch as they made use of this instrument to promulgate instructions and ordinances, the addressees of the authorities' announcements genuinely became "the public" in the proper sense. from the very beginning, the political journals had reported on the journeys and returns of the princes, on the arrival of foreign dignitaries, on balls, "special events" at court, appointments, ect.; in the context of this news from the court, which can be thought of as a kind of transportation of the publicity of representation into the new form of public sphere, there also appeared "sovereign ordinances in the subjects' best interest." very soon the press was systematically made to serve the interests of the state administration.'
pages 21 and 22, habermas.
'a few years before the french revolution, the conditions in prussia looked like a static model of a situation that in france and especially in great britain had become fluid at the beginning of the century. the inhibited judgements were called "public" in view of a public sphere that without question had counted as a sphere of public authority, but was now casting itself loose as a forum in which the private people, come together to form a public, readied themselves to compel public authority to legitimate itself before public opinion. the publicum developed into the public, the subjectum into the [reasoning] subject, the receiver of regulations from above into the ruling authorities' adversary.'
pages 25-6. hambermas.
the three points of public interaction in the public sphere:
'first, they preserved a king of social intercourse that, far from presupposing the equality of status, disregarded status altogether.'
'secondly, discussion within such a public presupposed the problematization of areas that until then had not been questioned.'
'thirdly, the same process that converted culture into a commodity (and in this fashion constitued it as a culture that could become an object of discussion to begin with) established the public as in principle inclusive.'
elaborated and expanded upon pages 36-7, in that ol'habermas book.
release me, release me... if only we did as the song asked.
"opinion" in english and french took over the uncomplicated meaning of the latin opinio: opinion; of the uncertain, not fully demonstrated judgment. technical philosophical language, from plato's doxa to hegel's meinen, here corresponded exactly to the term's meaning in everyday language. however, in our context the second meaning of opinion is more important, namely: 'reputation"; regard: what one represents in the opinion of others. "opinion" in the sense of a judgment that lacks certainty, whose truth would still have to be proven, is associated with "opinion" in the sense of a basically suspicious repute among the multitude. thus, the word carries such a pronounced connotation of collective opinion that all attributes referring to its social character can be dispensed with as pleonastic.'
'"Opinion," of course, did not evolve straightforwardly into "public opinion," opinion publique, that late eighteenth-century coinage that would refer to the critical reflections of a public competent to form its own judgements. both of the original meanings--the mere opinion and the reputation that emerged in the mirror of opinions--were antithetical to the kind of rationality claimed by the public opinion and truth, reason, and judgement was not as sharp as the french antithesis, firmly established during the seventeenth century, between opinion and critique.'
can you spell h.a.b.e.r.m.a.s.?
i wonder, how much interest the whole formation of public opinion is to me.i suspect perhaps not as much as i first thought.
quick notes. page 95 for the first appearance of public opinion, page 100 for public opinion to control political power, and 102 is a further definition of public opinion, as in who exactly it is. after all, not all the public has an opinion?
there is also the morality of public opinion, which beings on page 103, has another turn on 108, and again on 115, according to my notes. isn't this lovely?
more notes later. the mass media is hit now.