Jürgen HabermasPosted: February 2, 2011 | |
WOW, guys. Juggling two kids and five classes has been easy compared to reading some of Habermas‘s work.
I’ll try to give you a better summary after we have an actual class lecture on Habermas tomorrow, but the basic idea I can get out of the 20 pages I read is that he came up with the concept of two main components to all societies: system and lifeworld. Understanding this part wasn’t too bad; the lifeworld is kind of the informal setting for our norms, and family is a big part of the lifeworld. The system is the political and economic formal institutions of society. But then the excerpts got into a very academic and theoretical discussion of how politics work – how we influence politics as citizens, how the mass media interacts with politics…and the second selection I had to read was really way over my head. I’d like to tell you what it was about, but it was full of sentences like this:
[The mass media] free communication processes from the provinciality of spatiotemporally restricted contexts and permit public spheres to emerge, through establishing the abstract simultaneity of a virtually present network of communication contents far removed in space and time and through keeping messages available for manifold contexts.
Anyone care to translate? So far my classes really haven’t been too challenging. I’ve had some struggles with the other critical theorists we’ve discussed in this particular class (Contemporary Sociological Theory), but Habermas…sheesh. My brain needs a break! I think I’ll finish reading How to Train Your Dragon now.