Hartmut Wessler
Habermas and the Media

cover book
Theory and the media
185 p.
Polity Press
ISBN: 978-0-745-65133-0 (print)

Jürgen Habermas is arguably the most influential social theorist and philosopher of the twentieth century, and his imprint on media and communication studies extends well into the twenty-first. This book lucidly unpacks Habermas' sophisticated contributions to the study of media centring around the three core concepts for which his work is most known: the public sphere, communicative action, and deliberative democracy. Habermas and the Media offers an accessible introduction as well as a critical investigation of how Habermas' thinking can help us to understand and assess our contemporary communication environment and where his framework needs revision and extension. The book seeks to address questions such as: How does deliberative democracy fare in comparison to its main normative rivals: liberal, republican, and agonistic democracy? How deliberative are discussions presented on television, in political blogs, and on Twitter? What is the role of emotions in mediated deliberation? Full of original and sometimes surprising insights, this book is essential reading for scholars and students of media, political communication, and democracy, as well as anyone seeking guidance through Habermas' rich world of thought.