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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2018

Kyle John Lorenzano, Miles Sari, Colin Harrell Storm, Samuel Rhodes and Porismita Borah

Political polarization and incivility manifested itself online throughout the 2016 US presidential election. The purpose of this paper is to understand how features of…

Abstract

Purpose

Political polarization and incivility manifested itself online throughout the 2016 US presidential election. The purpose of this paper is to understand how features of social media platforms (e.g. reacting, sharing) impacted the online public sphere during the 2016 election.

Design/methodology/approach

After conducting in-depth interviews with politically interested young people and applying deductive coding procedures to transcripts of the interviews, Dahlberg’s (2004) six normative conditions for the public sphere were used to empirically examine this interview data.

Findings

While some participants described strategies for productive political discussion on Social Networking Sites (SNS) and a willingness to use them to discuss politics, many users’ experiences largely fall short of Dahlberg’s (2004) normative criteria for the public sphere.

Research limitations/implications

The period in which these interviews were conducted in could have contributed to a more pessimistic view of political discussion in general.

Practical implications

Scholars and the public should recognize that the affordances of SNS for political discussion are not distributed evenly between different platforms, both for the sake of empirical studies of SNS moving forward and the state of democratic deliberation.

Originality/value

Although previous research has examined online and SNS-based political discussion as it relates to the public sphere, few attempts have been made understand how specific communicative practices or platform-specific features of SNS have contributed to or detracted from a healthy public sphere.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 42 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Elia Marzal

The object of this research is the reconstruction of the existing legal response by European Union states to the phenomenon of immigration. It seeks to analyse the process…

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2471

Abstract

Purpose

The object of this research is the reconstruction of the existing legal response by European Union states to the phenomenon of immigration. It seeks to analyse the process of conferral of protection.

Design/methodology/approach

One main dimension is selected and discussed: the case law of the national courts. The study focuses on the legal status of immigrants resulting from the intervention of these national courts.

Findings

The research shows that although the courts have conferred an increasing protection on immigrants, this has not challenged the fundamental principle of the sovereignty of the states to decide, according to their discretionary prerogatives, which immigrants are allowed to enter and stay in their territories. Notwithstanding the differences in the general constitutional and legal structures, the research also shows that the courts of the three countries considered – France, Germany and Spain – have progressively moved towards converging solutions in protecting immigrants.

Originality/value

The research contributes to a better understanding of the different legal orders analysed.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 48 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2019

Maurice Yolles

Agency is inherently an institution and involves dynamic socio-cultural processes that facilitate development. This paper is written in three parts. The purpose in Part 1…

Abstract

Purpose

Agency is inherently an institution and involves dynamic socio-cultural processes that facilitate development. This paper is written in three parts. The purpose in Part 1 was to represent agency theory as an institutional theory, and consideration was made of the relationship between development, growth and globalisation. In Part 2, the purpose was to explore development with respect to the political context, explaining in terms of culture under what conditions political groups may come to power. Using political frames intended to define their nature and realities, they seek to attract agents in their political sphere to gain administrative power. In this Part 3, the purpose of this paper is to model, using cybernetic agency theory, the nature of development and reduction to instrumentality.

Design/methodology/approach

Development theory is a multidisciplinary field in which research and theories are clustered together and set within an adaptive institutional activity system framework. An adaptive activity system has a plural membership of agents represented by agency. In Parts 1 and 2 of this paper, agency was shown to have an institutional basis. Activity system development was also explained as a process of institutional evolution, and its potential was shown to provide power acquisition in a political landscape by competitive political frames which vie for support in a place of potentially susceptible agents. Here in Part 3, agency theory will be used to model the dynamic relationships between political frames and the agents that they wish to attract by projecting both cognitive and emotional structures, this enabling the anticipation of behaviour.

Findings

These relate to the three parts of the paper taken together. Agency is an evolutionary institutional system that can represent socio-political development. A model for political development has been created that identifies the conditions under which formal political groups are able to promote frames of policy to attract support from autonomous agents that constitute the membership of the activity system, and hence gain agency status. On the way to this, it connects Bauman’s theory of liquid modernity to Sorokin’s theory of socio-cultural dynamics and cultural stability. One result is the notion of liquid development, an unstable condition of development in adaptive activity systems. Agency theory can usefully explain detailed changes in agency, the relationships between agency agents, and interactions between agencies, this embracing institutional processes.

Research limitations/implications

The implication of this research is that it will allow empirical methods to be used that potentially enables political outcomes in complex socio-political environments to be anticipated, given additional appropriate measurement criteria.

Originality/value

The synergy of agency and institutional theories to explain the process of development is new, as is its application to the political development process in a political landscape. As part of this synergistic process, it has been shown how Bauman’s concept of liquidity relates to Sorokin’s ideas of socio-cultural change.

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2009

Rick Wicks

This paper revisits old questions of the proper subject and bounds of economics: does economics study “provisioning”? or markets? or a method of reasoning, self‐interested…

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1057

Abstract

Purpose

This paper revisits old questions of the proper subject and bounds of economics: does economics study “provisioning”? or markets? or a method of reasoning, self‐interested rational optimization?

Design/methodology/approach

A variety of scholars and others in many fields make use of a taxonomy of society consisting of three “spheres”: markets, governments, and communities. It is argued here that this tripartite taxonomy of society is fundamental and exhaustive. A variety of ways of understanding this taxonomy are explored, especially Fiske's (1991, 2004) “Relational models theory.” Then – after communities and their products, social goods, are defined more thoroughly – a visual model of interactions among the three spheres is presented.

Findings

The model is first used briefly to understand the historical development of markets. The model is then applied to understanding how economic thinking and market ideology, including the notion of social capital, can be destructive of communities and their production of social goods (and their production of social capital as well).

Research limitations/implications

It is not possible to measure these effects monetarily, so calculating precisely “how this affects results” in a standard economic model is impossible.

Practical implications

Nevertheless we could better prepare students for real‐world analysis, and better serve our clients, including the public, if – whenever relevant, such as in textbook introductions and in benefit/cost analyses – we made them aware of the limitations of economic analysis with respect to communities and social goods.

Originality/value

The three‐spheres model offered here, based on Fiske's “Relational models theory,” facilitates this awareness.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2001

Inger Jensen

This paper presents a platform for analysing public relations in the future. The author suggests a reintroduction of concepts of the public sphere in public relations…

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2136

Abstract

This paper presents a platform for analysing public relations in the future. The author suggests a reintroduction of concepts of the public sphere in public relations theory and calls attention to an emerging function of the public sphere. This function is called the public sphere of organisational legitimacy and identity. Further, the paper describes three different concepts of the company in society. These concepts are labelled “The economically successful but socially innocent company”, “The economically successful and legal company”, and “The economically successful, legal and responsible company”. Examples are provided to show that these three images represent a historical trend and that they logically exclude each other, but that they prevail simultaneously. The role of public relations is analysed in relation to each of the three concepts of the company. Combined with the analytical concepts of the emerging functions of public sphere they are suggested by the author as an analytical framework for reflecting potential viable or problematic aspects in the future.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2009

Scott Wright

The purpose of this paper is to present a discussion and analysis of various assumptions and observations about the significance of blogging by politicians, particularly…

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3217

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a discussion and analysis of various assumptions and observations about the significance of blogging by politicians, particularly in relation to theories of representation and the public sphere, informed with an empirical study of the practice of politicians' blogs on the Read My Day platform (www.readmyday.co.uk).

Design/methodology/approach

Relevant literature was reviewed to set the scene for an original analysis of politicians' blog posts on Read My Day. These posts were examined via content analysis to systematically catalogue the information politicians disclosed about themselves and to uncover political themes that were featured. A total of 12 politicians who blogged on this platform were subsequently interviewed about their online activities.

Findings

The councillors used the Read My Day platform to discuss local political issues but also posted some personal information about the bloggers, indicative of a broad understanding of representation. Councillors generally refrained from attacking other political parties and saw it as a tool of representation and not campaigning. However, there was evidence that councillors got into political trouble because of their blog, even though many said they self‐censored themselves. This suggests that bloggers are not merely reciting political spin. While no precise “hits” data were used, the blogging politicians did not feel that their posts were widely read. This was partly explained by bloggers failing to exploit the interactivity that the medium affords.

Originality/value

This paper provides new data on political blogging based on a theoretically‐informed analysis of blog posts and interviews with blogging politicians in the UK.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 61 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Michael M. Widdersheim and Masanori Koizumi

The purpose of this paper is to construct a conceptual model of the public sphere in public libraries. Various international authors over the past 20 years have associated…

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1618

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to construct a conceptual model of the public sphere in public libraries. Various international authors over the past 20 years have associated the public sphere with public libraries, but these associations have yet to be clarified and synthesized in a comprehensive way.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used qualitative content analysis to identify the dimensions of the public sphere in public libraries. The study’s scope included annual reports from an urban US public library system from 1900 to 2010.

Findings

Six dimensions of the public sphere in public libraries are described with examples. The dimensions are: core criteria; internal public sphere; external public sphere; collect and organize discourse; perform legitimation processes; and facilitate discourse. Three of these dimensions are newly identified. The six total dimensions are synthesized into a comprehensive conceptual model with three discourse arenas: governance and management; legitimation; and commons.

Originality/value

This study is distinctive because it used a data-based, empirical approach to public libraries to an abstract sociological concept. Three dimensions of the model are new to library studies literature and therefore represent new potential areas of inquiry. The resulting conceptual model is useful for both practitioners and researchers in the public library sector. Further, the model contributes to existing social and political theory.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 August 2021

Andreas Vårheim and Roswitha Skare

In museum research, museums are held as vital in maintaining the public sphere. This scoping review takes stock of the present status of museum–public sphere research by…

Abstract

Purpose

In museum research, museums are held as vital in maintaining the public sphere. This scoping review takes stock of the present status of museum–public sphere research by providing an overview of the existing literature as a point of departure for future research. In short, it maps the research aims, theoretical concepts, research methods and findings within the field and identifies research gaps.

Design/methodology/approach

A scoping review methodology is used to provide a knowledge synthesis of the museum–public sphere literature. This approach is instrumental for researching multi-disciplinary, fragmented or underdeveloped research fields. Reviews can help identify otherwise easily overlooked gaps in the research literature and are an essential tool.

Findings

Overwhelmingly, the published literature consists of case studies, some of which are theoretically ambitious. Still, cases are selected without explicit goals regarding analytical or theoretical generalization, and the studies are not placed within a theory-building framework. Moreover, the museum–public sphere research primarily focuses on museums in the core Anglosphere countries and is conducted by researchers affiliated with institutions in those countries. The museum–community relationship is a common research theme addressing engagement with the public through either visitor participation or community participation.

Originality/value

This is the first published scoping review or systematically conducted review and knowledge synthesis of the museum–public sphere research literature to our knowledge. The article finds and discusses a range of research gaps that need to be addressed theoretically and empirically.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

Cedric Pugh

It was not until the late 1960s that housing attracted much attention from academic social scientists. Since that time the literature has expanded widely and diversified…

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1305

Abstract

It was not until the late 1960s that housing attracted much attention from academic social scientists. Since that time the literature has expanded widely and diversified, establishing housing with a specialised status in economics, sociology, politics, and in related subjects. As we would expect, the new literature covers a technical, statistical, theoretical, ideological, and historical range. Housing studies have not been conceived and interpreted in a monolithic way, with generally accepted concepts and principles, or with uniformly fixed and precise methodological approaches. Instead, some studies have been derived selectively from diverse bases in conventional theories in economics or sociology, or politics. Others have their origins in less conventional social theory, including neo‐Marxist theory which has had a wider intellectual following in the modern democracies since the mid‐1970s. With all this diversity, and in a context where ideological positions compete, housing studies have consequently left in their wake some significant controversies and some gaps in evaluative perspective. In short, the new housing intellectuals have written from personal commitments to particular cognitive, theoretical, ideological, and national positions and experiences. This present piece of writing takes up the two main themes which have emerged in the recent literature. These themes are first, questions relating to building and developing housing theory, and, second, the issue of how we are to conceptualise housing and relate it to policy studies. We shall be arguing that the two themes are closely related: in order to create a useful housing theory we must have awareness and understanding of housing practice and the nature of housing.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 13 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2013

Seth Abrutyn

Recent scholarship in neo-evolutionary sociology has rejected stage-models in favor of multilinear theories that shift the study of sociocultural change away from…

Abstract

Recent scholarship in neo-evolutionary sociology has rejected stage-models in favor of multilinear theories that shift the study of sociocultural change away from teleological arguments toward those that emphasize selection pressures and macrodynamics. The paper below adopts a neo-evolutionary frame to revisit one of the most epochal moments in human sociocultural evolution, the urban revolution (about 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, China, Egypt, and perhaps the Indus Valley) and the rise of the first political units. Shifting the analysis from conventional perspectives, this paper asks the question why the polity was the first autonomous institution besides kinship and what consequences did this have on the trajectory of the human societies, and more generally, human sociocultural evolution. By doing so, a slightly different historiography is presented in which institutional autonomy corresponds not with stages, but rather an historical “phasing” that emphasizes the role that institutional entrepreneurs have played in driving institutional evolution via structural opportunities and historical contingencies.

Details

Voices of Globalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-546-3

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