Public Sphere – Closed and Open Conversations

When initially grasping the understanding of what a ‘Public Sphere’ was, two groups or societies came to mind. One group consisted of close friends (micro), friends that I would debate with about the latest and trending topics. This public sphere is operated through social media groups such as a messenger chats or facebook pages. For example I have a messenger group chat with my school friends which allows us to remain in contact and share personal stories or news. My closed group messenger chat includes close friends who I would trust, excluding people who I don’t trust or don’t socialise with. Media is used for contact in this situation which both positively and negatively affects relationships and the way we socialise with each other. Sometimes stories and messages can be ‘lost in translation’ and personally I believe that it is at times a risky or even poor way of communicating with peers. In a way I prefer the old style of communication where friends would have to communicate in person and would have to make the effort to see each other. Don’t get me wrong, the ability to message a friend within seconds is amazing and definitely useful for everyday purposes.

The other group consists of a more national and sometimes global scale (macro). Both platforms, Facebook and Instagram, allow for an open discussion about topics which can be put up for debate. People who have the apps have the power to cause discussion and debate. However, Since Jurgen Habermas created his theory of the ‘Public Sphere’, the “ideal coffee shop” environment has at times turned toxic. The transformation of the way we read, watch and analyse media has meant that more people are able to provide an individualised opinion which can most definitely have negative effects on society and individuals. In this public sphere, anyone can be included and people who choose not to use the apps can exclude themselves. 

My example of a global topic which has caused debate is the recent discussion about a footballer who plays in the Italian league. He chose to celebrate negatively towards the opponents fanbase due to racist comments which were allegedly voiced by the fanbase. 

In a closed group, for example my group chat for my soccer team, anyone can provide their own opinion on his actions and have the right to voice their opinions on social media within its restrictions. The topic may also spark debate from previous events in time which have involved racism, not only in sport but in other aspects of life. 


The Guardian

Oxford Bibliographies


“Animals are not Clowns” – Complex Image

“Animals used in performances must be treated with respect, and not objectified, or subjected to indignity or ridicule.” – RSPCA

“Circuses. Elephantstigers, and other animals that circuses use to entertain audiences do not stand on their heads, jump through hoops, or balance on pedestals because they want to. They perform these and other difficult tricks because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.” – PETA

In this generation, with the increase of media and technology, the treatment of animals has become a serious issue. Animals in this day and age are used for multiples purposes. Whether its for sport, food or in this case entertainment. 

For a while, the circus industry have had allegations towards them for their treatment of animals. Circus shows are constantly on the road, moving from city to city or even country to country. This means animals are constantly transported, sometimes in rugged and unstable cages, without a large consumption of food or water. 

“Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls for the crack of the whip against the animal’s stinging wounds”

The advertisement, created by two Portuguese animal rights organisations: Acção Animal and Liga Portuguesa dos Direitos do Animal (LDPA), shows a lion with face paint meaning that it is used for the circus. Yet depending on which perspective you see this image from it may differ from the original denotation. 

The denotation of “Animals are not clowns” literally means that animals are not meant to be treated like clowns. Yet the message may also connote another meaning. From my point of view, I see a lion who is imprisoned and exploited for the entertainment and leisure of people. The prison bars portray a tough and negative environment for the Lion enforcing the audience to immediately feel empathy, for not only the lions, but all the circus animals.  

Conversely, the point of view from a Child’s perspective may contrast to my and others perspective. Face paint growing up conveys positive connotations as it was a novelty to have your face painted, showing a child’s involvement or support towards a team, event etc. When young children attend circus shows they tend to disregard the bigger issues involving the animals. In the show, the animals may seem to be happy or joyful, yet be tormented and treated poorly behind the scenes. 

This issue portrayed in the advertisement allows for universal discussion in regards to the treatment of animals. Other aspects can be looked into further, for example the treatment of horses in horse racing or the treatment of greyhounds in greyhound racing. Yet as these two sports appear to be quite popular socially and financially, a discussion will most likely simmer down and be forgotten by most. 






Audiences: The Power of Sport

Through the ever-changing collosus of media, individual’s within an audience  have been impacted significantly. In particular, when watching sport live, on television or streaming, technology has altered our visibility when watching a game.

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does.”

Sport has brought upon power to the audience watching. Following a sports team empowers an indivdual. Especially with the uprise of media, following a team has become easier, this can be through social media or through the internet.

On the 24th of July 2014

I visited Melbourne for the game between my favourite team Liverpool and Melbourne Victory. I had never been able to watch Liverpool play in recent times as they play in England and never have really came to Australia recently. The crowd was made up of around 95,000 fans at the MCG, mainly Liverpool supporters. 

As Liverpool always do, they chanted the famous song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. In a crowd of 95,000 people the feeling was surreal. It was as if I was dreaming, lying in bed dreaming of a time where I was so cold yet so warm at the same time.

Cold at the fact that my arms were lathered with millions of goosebumps which sent chills to my spine, yet so warm at the fact that my dream of watching my favourite team live was becoming a reality.

Every Saturday, Sunday or Monday morning at roughly 2am, my Dad and I would be sat glued to the screens for around 2 hours. At times we would be slumped, miserable at the fact our team has continued to fall short of winning a title or sometimes, we would be cheering. Cheering at the fact our best player, Mo Salah, had just scored an absolute screamer from outside the box. But no matter what we never gave up on our team, we religiously continued to support our team through thick and thin.

We never gave up.

The referee blew his whistle for the kick off and just like the game had started. The 95,000 audience members who were in attendance instantly threw up a huge roar. The sound was deafening. I had never heard a louder collective sound in my life. Once I regained my hearing the sounds did not stop. The crowd began to chant songs. Songs which would be chanted in the home side at our home ground, Anfield.

It felt as if I was standing in the middle of the Anfield Pitch, surrounded by the fans echoing their chants.

In that moment, I felt like I had escaped from reality and life’s problems. I was living in the moment and to me that was the most pleasurable thing.



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