Public Sphere-Where Everybody Knows Your Name

By: Yutian Zhang

“Cheers” is a meaningful show about the regulars at a bar where every body knows your name. We have watched many different sitcoms from the 1950s to the 1980s. However, unlike many other sitcoms, it seems to me that nothing in “Cheers” are forced. I watched the episode before reading chapter 13 this time, this shows gives me the feeling that all of the characters interact with such chemistry. Watching this show is like sitting at a bar and listening to your best friends talk. After reading the chapter 13, I have learned that such communication environments and space in the bar is related to the idea of public sphere. The characters in the show are all different in many aspects and the issues discussed are closed related to the society. While Cheers has the weakness of diversity, it can still truly help us understand the idea of public sphere. After reading chapter 13, my first thought is that the Internet provides us such public sphere to discuss some current issues about society. However, after reading some articles regarding the Internet and the public sphere, I noticed that it is still controversial to considered the Internet as a public sphere. It seems that people cannot participate equally. For example, owners of a particular personal or corporate user profile who have the power of managing the discussion, editing posts and even deleting some users from the conversation. Overall, the public sphere is an important idea since how to create such ideal public sphere is closely related to the development of the society.

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3 Responses to Public Sphere-Where Everybody Knows Your Name

  1. mediaphiles says:

    The idea of the internet being a public sphere is an interesting one. I wonder if you would argue that this blog/ discussion forum is a public sphere for us to express our thoughts about the sitcoms we watch. The audience and participants are limited, but I believe this is a public forum so technically anyone can access this. That being said would you go as far to consider it a public sphere?

    -Emily Elliott

    • mediaphiles says:

      Yes, this blog/discussion forum is a public sphere since all of us can come together to freely discuss and identify problems. Different from other open discourse, most of our topics are focused on sitcoms.
      -Yutian Zhang

  2. marymdalton says:

    Good post!

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