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On the Public : The Thinking in Action Series - Alastair Hannay

On the Public

The Thinking in Action Series

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The media often talk about public opinion, the 'American' or 'British' public, or the movie-going public. A public can hold an opinion and be divided. What is the public and where did it come from? Is there one public or many? Is the very idea of the public a myth?
In this fascinating book, Alastair Hannay explores these questions and unpacks a much talked about but little understood phenomenon. He begins by tracing the origins of the public back to ancient Rome, before arguing that the idea of a public sphere is closely linked to the birth of democracy in the eighteenth century. He also reflects on the Enlightenment and the origins of public opinion, as well as considering the role of the media in creating and manipulating the public, and asks whether the very idea of the public might be uprooted and undermined by the Internet and global technology.
Engaging and controversial in equal measure, On the Public also draws on famous thinkers who have written about the public, such as Kierkegaard, Hannah Arendt, John Dewey and Jurgen Habermas.

Industry Reviews

'Hannay's provocative book points out that the potential of the public lies in its ability to stop observing and start acting...to become...an agent of change that can make politicians sit up and listen' Times Literary Supplement

'Philosopher Alastair Hannay's On the Public ... is an interesting short guide.' - New Scientist

Prefacep. viii
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
The Publicp. 1
Public as Audiencep. 26
The Public Spherep. 33
Public Opinionp. 52
Emptying Public Spacep. 71
Privacy and the Mediap. 80
A Common Sensep. 93
Transforming the Private Spherep. 110
Conclusionp. 125
Notesp. 131
Bibliographyp. 137
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415327930
ISBN-10: 0415327938
Series: Thinking in Action
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 145
Published: 23rd March 2005
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.76 x 13.11  x 1.25
Weight (kg): 0.19
Edition Number: 1