A critical study of Communicative Rationality in Habermas's Public Sphere

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

This interdisciplinary research examines the public sphere as a communicatively-constructed realm and challenges Habermas’s model of public sphere communication based on the “public use of reason”/communicative rationality. It questions the model’s counterfactual normativity and its emancipatory potential in revisiting core concepts such as reason, power and consensus, while also considering social complexity, the media and counterpublics. This research is theoretical but informed by the quest for empirical relevance.
Using critical hermeneutic methods, the thesis critically reconstructs Habermas’s theories of the public sphere and of communicative rationality, as these were developed and revised throughout his works, in order to lay the foundations for second- and third-order critique. The main critics considered in revisiting Habermas’s public sphere model are: Niklas Luhmann (functionalism and social systems), Michel Foucault (historical materialism, theory of power and rejection of universal norms), Nancy Fraser and Seyla Benhabib (critical feminism, identity politics), Thomas McCarthy (critique of rationalism and normativity), James Bohman (social complexity) and Colin Grant (post-systemic communication studies). Drawing on these, the thesis proposes a renewed public sphere model consisting of systems and emergent publics, while rethinking communicative reason and power in conditions of overcomplexity (Bohman). Lastly, it redefines normativity in an empirically plausible light, connected to emergent communication practices.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationPh.D.
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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normativity
rationality
communication
historical materialism
functionalism
rationalism
interdisciplinary research
hermeneutics
social system
feminism
grant
critic
politics

Cite this

@phdthesis{afde9f8c6cfe4fd8a9302c7c182afa20,
title = "A critical study of Communicative Rationality in Habermas's Public Sphere",
abstract = "This interdisciplinary research examines the public sphere as a communicatively-constructed realm and challenges Habermas’s model of public sphere communication based on the “public use of reason”/communicative rationality. It questions the model’s counterfactual normativity and its emancipatory potential in revisiting core concepts such as reason, power and consensus, while also considering social complexity, the media and counterpublics. This research is theoretical but informed by the quest for empirical relevance. Using critical hermeneutic methods, the thesis critically reconstructs Habermas’s theories of the public sphere and of communicative rationality, as these were developed and revised throughout his works, in order to lay the foundations for second- and third-order critique. The main critics considered in revisiting Habermas’s public sphere model are: Niklas Luhmann (functionalism and social systems), Michel Foucault (historical materialism, theory of power and rejection of universal norms), Nancy Fraser and Seyla Benhabib (critical feminism, identity politics), Thomas McCarthy (critique of rationalism and normativity), James Bohman (social complexity) and Colin Grant (post-systemic communication studies). Drawing on these, the thesis proposes a renewed public sphere model consisting of systems and emergent publics, while rethinking communicative reason and power in conditions of overcomplexity (Bohman). Lastly, it redefines normativity in an empirically plausible light, connected to emergent communication practices.",
author = "Katerina Strani",
year = "2011",
language = "English",

}

A critical study of Communicative Rationality in Habermas's Public Sphere. / Strani, Katerina.

2011. 351 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

TY - THES

T1 - A critical study of Communicative Rationality in Habermas's Public Sphere

AU - Strani, Katerina

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - This interdisciplinary research examines the public sphere as a communicatively-constructed realm and challenges Habermas’s model of public sphere communication based on the “public use of reason”/communicative rationality. It questions the model’s counterfactual normativity and its emancipatory potential in revisiting core concepts such as reason, power and consensus, while also considering social complexity, the media and counterpublics. This research is theoretical but informed by the quest for empirical relevance. Using critical hermeneutic methods, the thesis critically reconstructs Habermas’s theories of the public sphere and of communicative rationality, as these were developed and revised throughout his works, in order to lay the foundations for second- and third-order critique. The main critics considered in revisiting Habermas’s public sphere model are: Niklas Luhmann (functionalism and social systems), Michel Foucault (historical materialism, theory of power and rejection of universal norms), Nancy Fraser and Seyla Benhabib (critical feminism, identity politics), Thomas McCarthy (critique of rationalism and normativity), James Bohman (social complexity) and Colin Grant (post-systemic communication studies). Drawing on these, the thesis proposes a renewed public sphere model consisting of systems and emergent publics, while rethinking communicative reason and power in conditions of overcomplexity (Bohman). Lastly, it redefines normativity in an empirically plausible light, connected to emergent communication practices.

AB - This interdisciplinary research examines the public sphere as a communicatively-constructed realm and challenges Habermas’s model of public sphere communication based on the “public use of reason”/communicative rationality. It questions the model’s counterfactual normativity and its emancipatory potential in revisiting core concepts such as reason, power and consensus, while also considering social complexity, the media and counterpublics. This research is theoretical but informed by the quest for empirical relevance. Using critical hermeneutic methods, the thesis critically reconstructs Habermas’s theories of the public sphere and of communicative rationality, as these were developed and revised throughout his works, in order to lay the foundations for second- and third-order critique. The main critics considered in revisiting Habermas’s public sphere model are: Niklas Luhmann (functionalism and social systems), Michel Foucault (historical materialism, theory of power and rejection of universal norms), Nancy Fraser and Seyla Benhabib (critical feminism, identity politics), Thomas McCarthy (critique of rationalism and normativity), James Bohman (social complexity) and Colin Grant (post-systemic communication studies). Drawing on these, the thesis proposes a renewed public sphere model consisting of systems and emergent publics, while rethinking communicative reason and power in conditions of overcomplexity (Bohman). Lastly, it redefines normativity in an empirically plausible light, connected to emergent communication practices.

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

ER -