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’s sophisticated contributions to the study of media, centering on the three core concepts for which his work is best 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’s thinking can help us to understand and assess our contemporary communication environment – and where his framework needs revision and extension.
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’s rich world of thought.
"It would have been contribution enough to finally supply the English-speaking world with a primer on Habermas’s thinking about the role of media in the public sphere. Yet Wessler goes further. That he manages to make this book accessible for students, while retaining its relevance for scholars, is astounding. A tour de force."
Scott Althaus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Wessler demonstrates his solid grasp of Habermas’s oeuvre and reveals its importance for scholarly research and democracy. His exemplary presentation makes the book a pedagogical masterpiece, worthy of many, many readers."
Jostein Gripsrud, University of Bergen