Dissertation Abstracts

Public sphere and social representation in Niklas Luhmann

Author: Emerson R.C. Palmieri, emersonpalmieri93@gmail.com
Department: Sociology
University: Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil
Supervisor: Leopoldo Waizbort
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: Portuguese

Keywords: Luhmann , Public Sphere , Communication , Mass Media
Areas of Research: Sociocybernetics , Communication, Knowledge and Culture , Theory


In this project, we seek to reconstruct the concept of the public sphere (Öffentlichkeit) from the theoretical framework of Niklas Luhmann. This reconstruction aims to expose the sociological problem of the representation of communication in modern society: we argue that modern society privileges certain types of communication over others and, based on this diagnosis, we propose the hypothesis that this privilege guides the communicative preferences of different observers of society when they approach some social issue. The look at the public sphere thus remains limited to just a few types of communication (economic and political), while ignoring others (scientific, religious, artistic, etc).