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Contestation and Bracketing: The Relation between Public Space and the Public Sphere

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Carl Cassegård
Publicerad i Environment & Planning. D, Society and Space
Volym 32
Nummer/häfte 4
Sidor 689-703
ISSN 0263-7758
Publiceringsår 2014
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Sidor 689-703
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1068/d13011p
Ämnesord Public sphere, public space, contestation, bracketing, Habermas, Arendt
Ämneskategorier Sociologi, Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)

Sammanfattning

In this paper I seek to clarify the relation between the notions of public space and the public sphere by distinguishing between two dimensions of publicness—contestation and bracketing—in the classical notion of the public sphere as developed by Jürgen Habermas and Hannah Arendt. By clarifying this relation I aim to bring out how public space can be seen as the site of political practices distinct from those usually associated with the public sphere. That in turn will facilitate an understanding of why the idea of public space has been resorted to by activists and scholars to overcome limitations of the public sphere. On the basis of the two dimensions, I propose a distinction between two notions of public space, one centred on contestation and another on bracketing. I argue that both conceptions help articulate political practices that go beyond what is customarily allowed for in the deliberations of the public sphere: on the one hand, practices that visibilize dissent and expose inequalities and, on the other hand, practices that construct alternative arenas where marginal or subordinate people’s self-confidence as political actors can be strengthened.

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