Sporting Safe in the Liminal Sphere: “Tactics” and Facebook

Sporting Safe in the Liminal Sphere: “Tactics” and Facebook

Santosh Khadka (Syracuse University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4757-2.ch011
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Abstract

Facebook, like any other social networking site, troubles the traditional categories of private and public spheres. As it complicates (and transcends) the distinction, it can be called a different space, or a liminal space, which falls somewhere in-between private and public spheres. The author argues that this recognition of Facebook as a liminal sphere has important implications to the (re) definition of public and private spheres and to the ways rhetoric should work or be used in the Web 2.0 sites like Facebook. The author also proposes that Michael de Certeau’s notions of “strategy” and “tactics” can be powerful rhetorical tools to deal with Facebook’s liminality and to enhance the rhetorical performance of self in Facebook and other similar new media forums.
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Public Sphere And Private Sphere

In its original formulation, the term public sphere referred to a social realm where dialogues, debates and discussions on the matter of public concern took place. It mediated private sphere and the sphere of public authority i.e. the state. Primarily critical of the state, public sphere was the realm of discourses, governed by the idea of participatory democracy and public opinion. According to Jurgen Habermas (1991), the propounder of the concept, public sphere was:

[t]he sphere of private people come together as a public; they soon claimed the public sphere regulated from above against the public authorities themselves, to engage them in a debate over the general rules governing relations in the basically privatized but publicly relevant sphere of commodity exchange and social labor. (p. 27)

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