Professional specialists, using market research and promotional campaigns, have come to dominate public communication. The modern public of the Enlightenment, based on free discussion, has, in Leon Mayhew's terms, been replaced by a 'New Public,' subject to mass persuasion through systematic advertising, lobbying, and other forms of media manipulation. Mayhew examines this sociological development in terms of discourse and social influence, offering an original theory which bridges Talcott Parsons and Jurgen Habermas. Most importantly, he shows how the rhetorical techniques of the professional communicators are designed to avoid having to defend their claims, thereby precluding meaningful discussion of public issues. As a result, institutions providing forums for good-faith, two-way discourse no longer exist, community through communication cannot be achieved, and the social order is unstable.
Series: Cambridge Cultural Social Studies
Number Of Pages: 348
Published: 3rd November 1997
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.51