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The Sociology of the Public Sphere - SOCX329

Today we are struck by an apparent loss of the will and the capacity to build solidarities between strangers in a world that is deeply divided by differences. The effort needed to build common ground, to arrive at shared interpretations of interests and to agree on the general significance of problems is dangerously lacking. In place of the effort required to build solidarities across differences we often resort to easy bonds forged defensively around our differences.

We might suppose that an on-going Global Financial Crisis testifies to deep and widespread traumas that are set in train when we fail to plan around shared futures. So too real threats to the sustainability of our planet highlight the urgency of a planned response to risks that confront us all.

So where does this leave us? Do we have to sacrifice our private interests as we try and build common ground with others? Perhaps instead we can turn to a democratic mode of integration that gives private concerns a vital role in negotiating the character of common interests. This is the ideal of a modern democratic public sphere.

This unit will explore the modern public sphere as an embattled but vital cultural potential of liberal democratic histories.

All enrolment queries should be directed to Open Universities Australia (OUA): see

When Offered:

S2 OUA - Session 2, offered through Open Universities Australia

Staff Contact(s): Associate Professor Pauline Johnson
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Sociology

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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