Rethinking the fragmentation of the cyberpublic: From consensus to contestation

Dahlberg, Lincoln (2007) Rethinking the fragmentation of the cyberpublic: From consensus to contestation. New Media & Society, 9 5: 827-847. doi:10.1177/1461444807081228

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Author Dahlberg, Lincoln
Title Rethinking the fragmentation of the cyberpublic: From consensus to contestation
Journal name New Media & Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1461-4448
Publication date 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1461444807081228
Volume 9
Issue 5
Start page 827
End page 847
Total pages 21
Editor N. Jankowski
S. Jones
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
400104 Communication and Media Studies
750604 Civics and citizenship
Abstract Recently there has been some debate between deliberative democrats about whether the internet is leading to the fragmentation of communication into ' like- minded' groups. This article is concerned with what is held in common by both sides of the debate: a public sphere model that aims for all- inclusive, consensus seeking rational deliberation that eliminates intergroup ' polarizing' politics. It argues that this understanding of deliberative democracy fails to adequately consider the asymmetries of power through which deliberation and consensus are achieved, the inter- subjective basis of meaning, the centrality of respect for difference in democracy, and the democratic role of ` like- minded' deliberative groups. The deliberative public sphere must be rethought to account more fully for these four aspects. The article draws on post- Marxist discourse theory and reconceptualizes the public sphere as a space constituted through discursive contestation. Taking this radicalized norm, it considers what research is needed to understand the democratic implications of the formation of ` like- minded' groups online.
Keyword Deliberative democracy
Public sphere
Radical democracy
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Mon, 18 Feb 2008, 15:39:56 EST