Democracy Facing Complexity the Network Form of the Public Sphere

Ana Maria Munteanu, Ana Rodica Staiculescu

Abstract


According to Friedland et al, „classical public sphere theory captures a particular dynamics of history, a point where reasonable discussion on politics is both possible and normative among certain groups” (2006). While the functionnalist approach was criticized by many, taking into account the powerful effects of the mass media system and impact on deliberation process, Habermas revised his theory (2006) and highlighted the centrality of the network at a number of levels, the increased complexity (multiple publics, increased fragmentation and privatisation of the opinion, the increased complexity and autonomy of political and economical systems) and „the loss of subsistemic levels, increased flows of communication from below creating instability throughout of the entire system”. This instability is then related to the make sense processes, core meanings and semantic links that govern digital environments and the networks’ enthelechy. In our research we used the grounded theory qualitative method (Glaser, Strauss in 1967, Strauss, 1987, Corbin,1992), to create a model that identifies the main characteristics of the object of research (Babchuk, 1996) . We aimed to analyze the representation of events on the political scene in the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014 as mapped by the most important political blogs in Romania. Currently, the research field is divided in terms of methodological strategy between two approaches: those who use this type of social network analysis in political science and sociology from a perspective focused on the study and relevance of content (categories, concepts, core meanings) and a second perspective, less interested in the relationships between nodes that form a network, focusing on what Newman (2003) characterizes as " large-scale statistical properties of graphs". However, many networks can not be adequately represented by random graphs and seem to have a very different distribution from other home network links.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n2s5p45


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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