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Ethics Theory and Business Practice Discourse Ethics – Part Three Discourse and the Public Sphere: the Role of Media and Marketing Corporations.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics Theory and Business Practice Discourse Ethics – Part Three Discourse and the Public Sphere: the Role of Media and Marketing Corporations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics Theory and Business Practice Discourse Ethics – Part Three Discourse and the Public Sphere: the Role of Media and Marketing Corporations

2 aims to explain why the public sphere is important to discourse to consider the internet’s potential to contribute to a vigorous public sphere to explore one way in which corporate colonization might inhibit that potential

3 discourse cannot take place in a vacuum for productive discourse to take place: information needs to be made available people need to be exposed to diverse perspectives dialectical processes need to be made available that accustom people to critical engagement with a range of ideas

4 the importance of the public sphere: a collection of physical, literary, media (press, radio, and TV), and virtual spaces where people can access information, exchange ideas, and debate matters of general interest (Habermas, 1984/1981, 1987/1981)

5 corporations and the public sphere the traditional role of newspaper corporations, commercial radio stations, and TV companies the contemporary significance of the internet offering the potential for democratization and reinvigoration of the public sphere but also offering the potential for its colonization

6 colonization something entering territory that it ought not to enter and taking control of processes it ought not to control so that instead of those processes being structured in a manner that allows them to fulfil their fundamental purpose, they become structured in ways that inhibit the achievement of that purpose

7 corporate colonization of the public sphere the public sphere gets colonized by corporate interests, which deflect it from its fundamental purpose of providing information and sharing ideas considerations of power and money thus enter into discursive forums so that, instead of those forums enabling people to achieve shared understanding, they become dominated by financial and political considerations discourse becomes focused on the generation of wealth and the capture of power for the benefit of particular people (Habermas, 1984/1981, 1987/1981)

8 undermining the internet’s democratizing potential corporate emphasis on harvesting personal data how the data we provide shapes what we see special news bulletins, tailored just for you personalization by social-networking sites personalization of internet-based news (Pariser, 2011)

9 key points a vibrant and diverse public sphere is vital to the practical implementation of discourse ethics media corporations play a key role in providing that public sphere the internet offers considerable potential for greater democratization and reinvigoration of the public sphere that potential may be lost if corporations focus primarily on opportunities presented by the internet for the accumulation of power and wealth

10 references Habermas, J. (1984/1981) The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume One: Reason and the Rationalisation of Society, T. McCarthy (trans.). Boston: Beacon Press. Habermas, J. (1987/1981) The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume Two: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, T. McCarthy (trans.). Boston: Beacon Press. Pariser, E. (2011) The Filter Bubble. New York: Penguin.


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