Essay: In What Ways Does The Internet Expand Contemporary Public Life?


In examining the above topic, I will examine whether the internet expands contemporary public life and if it has emerged as a dominant interactive medium. This will be aided by theoretical concepts covered during the module such as the concept of the public sphere as found in the work of Habermas (1989).

I will seek to prove that the internet is an integral part of the ever-expanding global media system. First, I will explain what the internet is and how it was developed. Secondly, I will present a case study of the use of the internet in recent politics in Egypt and Tunisia.  I draw two lessons from this cautionary example. First, in speculating about the impact of the internet on community life we should be sensitive to the often surprising ways in which market forces can shape emerging technologies. Second, we should be as conscious as possible of the cultural assumptions and trends that shape the way we use and respond to new technologies such as the internet, and how its connection with society is structured.

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