Friday, 20 October 2017

Westminster Student Blog Series

We have been posting a series of short vlogs, produced by University of Westminster Postgraduate students. They are all based on their research of social media. As this is the final vlog, we would like to thank all the Westminster students for their entries.

Public Sphere in the case of the Women's March on London

Author: Tian

A student of the Frankfurt School of Social Research, Jürgen Habermas wrote The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (1962) to explore the status of public opinion in the practice of representative government in Western Europe.

The feminist critique points out that the ‘public sphere’ has proposed a sphere of educated, rich men, juxtaposed to the private sphere that has been seen as the domain of women, which also excluded gays, lesbians, and ethnicities (Fraser, 1990). The criticism has also suggested that a democratic and multicultural society should based on the plural public arenas (Fuchs, 2014). Habermas agrees that his early account in The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, published in 1962, has neglected proletarian, feminist and other public spheres (Fuchs, 2014).

The recent example would be the success of Women’s March. The US election proved a catalyst for a grassroots movement of women to assert the positive values that the politics of fear denies. The Women’s March was held in order to represent the rights of women and solidarity with participants from the threatened minorities such as Muslim and Mexican citizens and the LGBTQ community. There were hundreds of marches have taken place in the major cities around the world.

The video would criticize the concept of ‘pubic sphere’ from both feminist perspective and the emerging of social media. Discuss how the rise of social networking sites has resulted in public discussions on digital platform.


Fraser, N. (1990). Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy. Social Text, (25/26), p.56.

Fuchs, C., (2014). Social media. A critical introduction. London: Sage.


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