are coffee houses considered habermas sphere

1255 Words Nov 19th, 2014 6 Pages
Aryeh Istrin
CUOT 1010
Professor Levin
10 November, 2014

Do Contemporary Coffeehouses Function as a Habermasian "Public Sphere"? In the mid 1700 's coffeehouses began to be a place where many people could come and gather not only to sit and drink coffee but rather to socialize, carry out business , talk politics, and current events. The English coffeehouses were a prime example of what Jurgen Habermas 's had in mind of what is a public sphere. According to Habermas, a public sphere is a place where one can have the freedom to speak his mind and everyone is accepted regardless of their rank. Another idea of Habermas 's public sphere was to be able to talk politics in freedom, therefore the English coffeehouse were a perfect
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This in reality makes for coffee shops today be a better public sphere than the England 17th century model because it allows for even more people to be accepted and enjoy the cultures of coffeehouses. Contemporary coffee shops today differ slightly from the public sphere due to the fact that political policy and politics in general are not talked about in a coffeehouse. Back in the English coffeehouses many of the royalties in the government would go to the coffee shops to talk political policies. For example, Theodor Johann Quistorp said in Leipzig 1743 "A coffeehouse is like a political stock exchange, where the most gallant and wittiest heads of every estate come together. They engage in wide-ranging and edifying talk, issue well-founded judgments on matters concerning the political and the scholarly world, converse sagaciously about the most secret news from all courts and states, and unveil the most hidden truths." From this statement one can fully understand the extent of politics that were talked about in the coffeehouse. This is one of the main differences that coffeehouses now a days have with regard to the public sphere. Simply put, one does not see a head of state like our president or governors meet in a Starbucks to talk politics like they did back in English coffeehouses. This shows how the coffee shops in England were more within Habermas 's view with respect to politics and a difference in today 's coffee shops. Another
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