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9 December 2014

“Technology is not serving the ends it could serve in [rebuilding] public space”

Interview with Nancy Fraser

The American political scientist identifies a paradox in the present-day public sphere. While we have technology which permits a high degree of communication, public space has become corporatised and lacks a culture of citizen participation.


[English | Duration: 00:02:51]


Shared Spaces recorded this conversation with Nancy Fraser in June 2014 when she visited the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) to discuss with Michel Wieviorka “The Political and Economic Dimension of the Crisis”, a debate which was part of the cycle “The Idea of Europe”.

Fraser sees a paradox in the public sphere of contemporary society: while technology is very advanced, allowing communication over vast distances, “[…] in many countries, the United States especially, the public sphere is dominated by advertising, it’s corporatized, and there isn’t a culture of citizen public involvement, peer to peer”.

Fraser explains that the speed and ease with which the Occupy movement inspired people and won so much support was because they actually claimed public spaces. Indeed, the most difficult issue for the movement now – and, by extension, for citizen participation – is the loss of those spaces, which has condemned the movement to invisibility in these times which are so dominated by the mass media. In Fraser’s view, at both national and international levels, “[…] technology is not serving the ends it could serve in [rebuilding] public space”.


Ferran Muñoz Jofre
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Translation: Julie Wark.

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