The public sphere also can reside in institutions. Jakubowicz (1994, p. 79) ties public sphere to the concept of civil society, which is defined as "a social space providing freedom for whatever forms of active self-organization of pluralistic society [are] necessary to secure its independence of state power." Public sphere in this context is defined as "media, educational, knowledge- and opinion-forming institutions whose operation is conducive to the emergence of public opinion as a political power."
In a truly democratic society, the public sphere would be a "space for rational and universalistic politics distinct from both the economy and the state," said Garnham (1986, p. 41). One final aspect of the public sphere -- consensus building -- was emphasized by Dahlgren (1987, p. 25), who said, "All voices have equal access to a neutral public sphere, where their unfettered rational discourse ... culminate[s] in the articulation of popular will." But if public spheres potentially are so varied and unfettering, how come they are so few and seldom seen in modern America? That is the subject of the next section.
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