Clearing the cobwebs that won't let me sleep at night...
The public sphere - the "ideal" place for political discourse. What is a public sphere? According to E McLuskie, "A public sphere requires participation with policy consequences collectively agreed to--usually, the consequences part falls into black holes of sorts."
So why isn't facebook - so ideal? I suppose the argument is that since the policy consequences of any discourse is not specifically outlined - their are no outlined rules for the communicative game - that it is a breading ground for both manipulation, and propaganda as honest communication is limited to who is in control leaving the non-controlling side at risk for expression.
BUT! What else do we have? A platform to educate more widespread audiences than one would reach if merely teaching in academia. The opportunity to create change while utilizing facebook is available if one is tactful. It's a place where all walks of life are meeting and politically conversing more and more across communities.
As Call Me Taft writes,
"New media plays many roles in American politics. They can act as a venue for self-expression or a vehicle for voters to reach out to politicians. They can also offer politicians a way of making more information available to the public at minimal cost. Finally, new media provide a platform for political discourse on the web among the public, journalists, and candidates. The various technologies that make up new media can affect politics in any or all of these ways."
So new media offers opportunities.
So what??????...................The problem with our society is that we fail to create shared understandings of the creation and maintenance of social ills and agreed upon courses of action for managing said 'ills plaguing our country. Facebook, though limited, provides us with a better avenue to clarify political perspectives and maybe move participants a step closer to social resolutions with which the majority can live with.
Within facebook folks seem to be more comfortable with sharing what they do understand and their disagreements with current policies of action.
I wonder if it offers "the general public" hope?
something about the voices of boys - how do I raise my boys so that they feel comfortable sharing and realize they've been heard...
Rambline #3...Why Spanish Language will not overtake English - yet another long paper to be written. Having to do with the fact the English is such a diverse, descriptive language with multiple words available for describing similar situations giving the speaker the ability to more specifically depict...not that English isn't changing with the influence of Spanish speakers (or any other language for that matter)