Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Habermas and Coffee

“The German philosopher Jurgen Habermas has argued that coffee shops were both an important site and a constitutent element of what he calls the emergence of the “public sphere.” [20] Habermas claimed that the eighteenth century saw the beginning of a public discourse about politics, society, and the proper role of both citizens and government, all topics which had been the more-or-less exclusive domain of elites in the past. Just as it had provided a social setting for discussion in the Islamic World, coffee shops in Europe were some of the most fertile locales for the discussion of new political and social ideas.


Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit: Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft, Neuwied: Hermann Luchterhand, 1962.

Habermas: “Transformation of the Public Sphere” 1962
from here

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