"The Rationalization of the Lifeworld" - Habermas
1. Communication is central to Habermas' theory of social life. Why is agreement about the meaning of a "speech act" so important? Explain the concept of "definition of the situation," and how this relates to communication between actors.
2. Try to explain the concept of "lifeworld" in your own words. Habermas begins to define it on page 376-- What is a lifeworld, and what are its main components?
3. Habermas criticizes Berger & Luckmann, Durkheim, and Mead for having "one-sided" views of the social world. How does he characterize each of their viewpoints, and how does he make an attempt to move past these critiques with his concept of lifeworld?
"Civil Society and the Political Public Sphere" - Habermas
1. How does Habermas define "civil society?" How have the boundaries between the public and private sphere been transformed in modern life? What kinds of reactions-- political and social movements-- have emerged against this?