The New Public

The New Public : Professional Communication and the Means of Social Influence

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Professional specialists, using market research and promotional campaigns, have come to dominate public communication. The modern public of the Enlightenment, based on free discussion, has, in Leon Mayhew's terms, been replaced by a 'New Public,' subject to mass persuasion through systematic advertising, lobbying, and other forms of media manipulation. Mayhew examines this sociological development in terms of discourse and social influence, offering an original theory which bridges Talcott Parsons and Jurgen Habermas. Most importantly, he shows how the rhetorical techniques of the professional communicators are designed to avoid having to defend their claims, thereby precluding meaningful discussion of public issues. As a result, institutions providing forums for good-faith, two-way discourse no longer exist, community through communication cannot be achieved, and the social order is unstable.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 348 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20mm | 510g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521484936
  • 9780521484930
  • 927,986

Table of contents

Part I. Rhetoric and the Integration of Society: 1. Public influence in modern society; 2. Rhetoric and reason; Part II. Influence: 3. Influence: capacity to persuade; 4. Habermas and Parsons: critical issues regarding influence; 5. Public influence: a new paradigm; 6. The differentiation of rhetorical solidarity; Part III. The New Public: 7. The emergence of the New Public: advertising, market research and public relations; 8. Political communication in the New Public; 9. Forums for the redemption of influence; 10. The rhetoric of presentation.
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