Counterpublic

A STRATIFIED SOCIETY

Society categorizes people into socioeconomic statuses based on income, job, social status

NANCY FRASER

Rethinking the Public sphere

“Moreover, the problem is not only that Habermas idealizes the liberal public sphere but also that he fails to examine other, nonliberal, nonbourgeois, competing public spheres. Or rather, it is precisely because he fails to examine these other public spheres that he ends up idealizing the liberal public sphere” (Fraser, p. 115, second full para)

There are multiple publics (and that's a good thing)

With the rise of new technologies, what counts as a public?

Critiques Several Assumptions

The assumption that it is possible to bracket status and deliberate as if we were social equals.

Nearly impossible on a structural and informal level

Structural level

Informal level

What are some of things you have to consider before going into a job interview?

When did/do we ever deliberate as equals? Is it possible?

The assumption that discourse in public sphere should always about the common good and the appearance of private interests and private issues is always undesirable.

  • Public vs Private interest
  • Ex. "That's a personal problem"
  • Who gets to decide what is the common good or concern?
  • Ex. CR Groups

subaltern COUNTERPUBLIC DEFINED

"they are parallel discursive arenas where members of subordinated social groups invent and circulate counterdiscourses to formulate oppositional interpretations of their identities, interests, and needs" (Fraser, p. 115)
  • Thematize status and identity
  • Formulate language and opinion

Considering what we've discussed so far, is the KKK a counterpublic?

OTHER FUNCTIONS

  1. as spaces of withdrawal and regroupment
  2. training grounds for agitational activities directed toward wider publics

WEAK AND STRONG PUBLICS

Solely opinion formation or move beyond formation and includes decision making

ACTIVITY: THINK OF EXISTING COUNTERPUBLICS

In groups of 3 or 4, think of an example of a counterpublic. What makes it a counterpublic? Does it thematize identity? Does it formulate common opinion? Does it work towards entering the public sphere?

BREAK BREAK BREAK

michael dawson

A BLACK COUNTERPUBLIC?

Have always existed, but does one exist now?

NAACP & Ida B. Wells

Unique position of non-male Black individuals

RAP AS BLACK COUNTERPUBLIC DISCOURSE?

“If you’re a bitch, you’re probably not going to like us. If you’re a ho, you probably don’t like us. If you’re not a ho or a bitch, don’t be jumping to the defense of these despicable females,” (Ice Cube August 2015)
“There can be no mass-based Black counterpublic if Black women are continually denied the right to basic humanity and voice” (Dawson, p. 221)

Can you think of any contemporary rap songs or rappers out there that would constitute a black counterpublic discourse?

A contemporary Black counterpublic?

dangers of contemporary counterpublics

Hyperfocus on identity politics & intersectionality

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