Back to Page Authors: Merve Zeynep Sarıbek

Keywords: Public Sphere, New Media, Twitter, Counter Public Sphere

Abstract: The public sphere is an area where people from different identity groups can find the chance of representation. In fact, the concept of public sphere, which is a field of representation and free discussion, is now widely accepted as a state-owned field. A state-based public sphere brings along the problem of representation. The concept of bourgeois public space, which is emphasized by Habermas outside the public sphere of state influence and control, has also been drawn with certain limits. Although the bourgeois public sphere is, in principle, open to all classes of society, in practice this openness is limited only to a part of the population. The public space stressed by Habermas is a field of communicative action but at the same time it has become an area where only the capitalist and educated bourgeoisie can be involved. This led to the emergence of a representation problem in the bourgeois public sphere. At this point, new areas of representation will be sought as alternatives to the dominant public sphere. Negt and Kluge's proletarian / counter public sphere in response to these exclusions in the official public sphere, and Fraser's (2004) concept of subaltern counterpublics become central concepts in terms of the representation of different and marginalized groups of society. Through new communication technologies, people from different identity groups can develop effective communication methods, and alternative public spaces can become areas where collective intelligence emerges. Today, the dominant public sphere is subject to change and transformation. In our study, especially the emergence of new information technologies, the intersection of structural transformations in the public sphere will be studied. With the fragmentation and dissolution of the public, social representation has shifted from one to another. New information technologies, especially digital technologies, have become the most important channels in the society that allow for the creation of different types of publics. The public sphere cannot be identified with a physical space or institution. The public sphere is not a geographic or institutional structure, but a discursive and action-related unity. For this reason, the real or virtual space, center or institutions, where different segments of the society find the opportunity to represent themselves and have the opportunity to act, can be included in the public sphere. After the development of information technologies, the discovery of the Internet and the development of Web 2.0 technology in particular have led to the creation of a new community in terms of promoting participation culture and social representation. The claim that the more liberal and fragmented structure created by these new technological developments has produced new alternative counterpublics that Negt and Kluge talked about has been strengthened. In this study, the internet and the counter publicity function of Twitter as a social network will be examined. Representations forms of Syrians who emigrated to Turkey in Twitter will be discussed. The tweets selected from the accounts to be reviewed will be analyzed with content analysis method.