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Popular Radicalism and the Public Sphere

Gilmartin, Kevin (1994) Popular Radicalism and the Public Sphere. Studies in Romanticism, 33 (4). pp. 549-557. ISSN 0039-3762. doi:10.2307/25601085.

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Theories of the public sphere would seem to offer a promising framework for analyzing the language, organization, and public profile of the popular radical reform movement in early nineteenth-century Britain. Yet in the Preface to The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Jürgen Habemus immediately announces that his investigation "leaves aside the plebeian public sphere as a variant that in a sense was suppressed in the historical process." And despite the conceptual strength and impressive scope of his work, Habermas has been criticized for inadequately addressing problems of access that were at the heart of reform agitation. In the wake of Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge's "pioneering critique" of Habermas, revisionist theorists have begun to address the many historical variations on Habermas' eighteenth-century bourgeois theme, and, seizing on issues of participation and variation, "have sought to pluralize and multiply the concept" and take account of "alternative public spheres and counterpublics." Geoff Eley's forceful statement of the revisionist case seems particularly appropriate here, since it is informed by his work on English radicalism.

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Additional Information:© 1994 Boston University.
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140320-132923490
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Official Citation:Popular Radicalism and the Public Sphere / Kevin Gilmartin. Studies in Romanticism. Vol. 33, No. 4 (Winter, 1994), pp. 549-557. Published by: Boston University. Article Stable URL:
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ID Code:44414
Deposited On:20 Mar 2014 22:03
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:51

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