This research turns to the analysis of the concept of the public sphere in Jurgen Habermas work comparing two conceptions: on one hand, the concept of the bourgeois public sphere elaborated in Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (1962) and, on the other, the public sphere inserted in the theoretical context of The Theory of Communicative Action (1981) in which society is understood from the relation between system and lifeworld. The diagnosis formulated based upon this second model is taken forward in Between Facts and Norms (1992), in which the public sphere acquires a fundamental political role in the contemporary democratic process. To investigate these developments in the authors work, the departure point of this research is the hypothesis of a double movement: on one hand, the movement that results from the critics that Habermas received after the publishing of Structural Transformation, with which he dialogues and even take of in his posterior elaboration of the concept. And, on the other hand, the movement that comprehends that the model of the public sphere in 1962, that, according to the author, decays in the context of the welfare state and the mass media, was still largely influenced by the pessimist diagnosis of the administered society from Adorno and Horkheimer in the Dialectic of Enligtenment (1947). In 1981, Habermas deepens his critique of the Critical Theory first-generation and proposes a change in paradigm that allows him to introduce the new theoretical context of the society in two levels, including the public sphere in the game between system and lifeworld, giving it a new function more resistant to a process of disintegration at the first moment, but that in the 1992 work acquires a more offensive role of entering the systemic sphere.
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