The public as social experience


  • Samuel Mateus Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa



public, publicness, publicity, public sphere, social experience


What the concept of public means today? We seek to contribute to this debatesearching for a third-way of appraisal: the public is neither a simple audience constitutedby media consumers nor just a rational-critical agency of a Public Sphere. Weargue the concept should also be seen in at the light of a publicness principle, beyond acritic and manipulative publicity.In accordance, the public may be regarded as the result of the social activities madeby individuals sharing symbolic representations and common emotions in publicness.Seen with lower-case, the concept is a set of subjectivities who look publicly for a feelingof belonging. So, in this perspective, the public is still a fundamental notion to sociallife although in a different manner in comparison to 18th century Public Sphere’s Public.He means above all the social textures and configurations where successive layers ofsocial experience are built up. The public is, thus, acknowledged with the casual andspontaneous public communities disseminated through society carrying out processes ofcommunication that use media to obtain a worldwide relevance.


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Como Citar

Mateus, S. (2011). The public as social experience. Comunicação E Sociedade, 19, 275-286.



Das práticas aos discursos: usos e representações