The public sphere (German: Öffentlichkeit) is an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action. Communication scholar Gerard Hauser has defined it as "a discursive space in which individuals and groups associate to discuss matters of mutual interest and, where possible, to reach a common judgment about them." The public sphere can be seen as "a theater in modern societies in which political participation is enacted through the medium of talk" and "a realm of social life in which public opinion can be formed".
Describing the emergence of the public sphere in the 18th century, Jürgen Habermas noted that the public realm, or sphere, originally was "coextensive with public authority", while "the private sphere comprised civil society in the narrower sense, that is to say, the realm of commodity exchange and of social labor". Whereas the "sphere of public authority" dealt with the state, or realm of the police, and the ruling class, the "authentic 'public sphere'", in a political sense, arose at that time from within the private realm, specifically, in connection with literary activities, the world of letters. This new public sphere spanned the public and the private realms, and "through the vehicle of public opinion it put the state in touch with the needs of society."
"This area is conceptually distinct from the state: it [is] a site for the p . . . more