Communication, Community, and Democracy: Toward a Theory of the Communicatively-Integrated Community

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Friedland, Lewis A.
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Institute of Communication Research, Seoul National University
Journal of Communication Research, vol.38, pp.163~206(2001)
HabermasAmerican Communitymajor force
For democracy to work, community is necessary.
This argument is not obvious. If democracy simply consists in a sufficient number of individuals turning out to vote to generate legitimacy for governments, then the proposition doesn't necessarily hold. But historian Robert Wiebe (1995) argues that the essence of democracy, in America at least, is self-rule. I think this is true, but the definition of self-rule implicitly asks: what is the self that rules and how is it formed?
The democratic self is composed of two separate but related bodies. The first are publics of citizens. The second are the communities in which they live. The public concerns the problem of what sort of rule should we have as democratic citizens; the community what kind of selves are needed as the agents of democracy.
This essay is centrally concerned with the second half of the equation: how individuals and groups form democratic selves, or identities, and under what conditions of life. The answer is that they do so in communities, and, as I will argue, democratic groups are more likely to form in communities that are integrated through communication. But at least a few words about the publics of democracy are necessary before we begin this larger argument.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute of Communication Research (언론정보연구소)Journal of Communication Research (언론정보연구)Journal of Communication Research (언론정보연구) vol.38 (2001)
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