In his book, Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere
(1992), Habermas mostly deals with the problematic of a public sphere which was located in an era of dynamic public life distinct from private domain, basing on the public use of reason raised with bourgeois culture for free discussion. This period is as the construction period of the public sphere in which it evolved and began to lose its former meaning like being the area of mediation between state affairs and private affairs differing from its Greek origin. Habermas (1992) states that civil society and public sphere are the historical entities formed by modernity. He points out that between 16th and 18th centuries, “‘private’ designated the exclusion from the state apparatus; for ‘public’ referred to the state that in the meantime had developed, under absolutism, into an entity having an objective existence over against the person of the ruler”(1992:11).According to Habermas, with the rise of bourgeois society, the ancient meaning of ‘private’ changed. The growing of market economy created the ‘social’ sphere, which broke the landed-estate based state authorities. The institutionalisation period of social labour and social relations gave way to the exclusion of the ‘private’ from the inner region of private sphere, specifically from home. With modernity, which Habermas sees as the basis of the public sphere and civil society, the ‘intimate sphere’, once the very centre of the private sphere, moved to its periphery. In this sense, family became ever more private and the world of work and organization ever more public. With this exclusion process, only the family’s intimate domain was left as the source of privateness in the modern senseand the private experiences originated from this privateness lead the public’s understanding of the public use of reason on modern times.
This in turn makes mediation necessary, besides the direct conversation. Therefore now, newspapers and periodicals, radio and television are the media of the public sphere. The places that give possibility to perform this publicness are the places like theatres, parks, museums, operas and especially coffee-houses. These places were important for Habermas in the sense that they neglect social status in an atmosphere where celebration of different ranks was replaced by equal measurement of all. With this equality perception the authority of the better argument began to dominate the atmosphere, on the basis of the parity of “common humanity” (Habermas, 1992: 36). Aksoy (2004) states that prestige of public office as well as laws of the market and the state was suspended in favour of the authority of the better argument.Also, this rise of publicness created an atmosphere where cultural products like philosophy, literature and art more likely to be accessible with their withdrawal from their aura and transforming to a profane commodity. As a result, culture was mostly taken as an object of general discussion with the participation possibility of all individuals with the identification of new public sphere.