To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The evolution of the public sphere

José J. Blanco (Department of Social Sciences, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela and Centro de Historia Intelectual, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Bernal, Argentina)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 26 September 2019

Issue publication date: 5 September 2020



The purpose of this study is to rethink the issue of publicity from a cross-cultural and evolutionary perspective.


Assuming that there is a dominant paradigm in the studies of the public sphere centered on Habermas’ ideas, media theory (and especially Luhmann who is considered as a media theorist) is selected as a new context that provides different concepts, ideas, language games and metaphors that allow the re-foundation of the study of publicity.


Publicity as a social structure emerges – and acquires different forms during history – out of the complex dynamics resulting from the interaction between success media, such as power, and different kinds of dissemination media.


A research into the forms of publicity not only promotes awareness of the ubiquity of the phenomenon across cultural evolution, but also offers tools to make new discoveries and systematize what is already known about the subject and its ramifications.



Blanco, J.J. (2020), "The evolution of the public sphere", Kybernetes, Vol. 49 No. 9, pp. 2201-2219.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited