SOI Discussion Paper: Social Media, Mass Media and the ›Public Sphere‹

9. Oktober 2016

In der Reihe Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Organisations- und Innovationssoziologie ist ein neues Discussion Paper mit dem Titel »Social Media, Mass Media and the ›Public Sphere‹. Differentiation, Complementarity and Co-existence« (Volltext) erschienen:


In modern society, ›the public‹ is inevitably a mediated sphere as only media can bridge its spatial, temporal and topical diversity. While this media has traditionally been mass media (one-to-many), the arrival of the Internet has popularised meso media (many-to-many). In that context, the mediated public sphere has undergone significant changes. On the one hand, media theorists emphasise the enabling characteristics of digital media, hoping for an egalitarian public sphere and an empowerment of media users. On the other hand, critics discuss the regulatory attributes of social media platforms, which allow to preformat and to sanction communication more efficiently than ever before.

This overview paper discusses the generic relationship between social media and mass media from a systems-theoretical point of view. Further, it addresses the question of whether the social web is in fact on the path to democratising the ›public sphere‹.

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