Shabin B.N, a research scholar affiliated with the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at the School of Social Science, University of Hyderabad has recently published an article titled ‘ Fragmented Discourses: The Indian Digital Public Sphere in a Post-truth Era in Springer indexed journal Society. Chitra Karunakaran Prasanna from Central University of Tamil Nadu and Fathimath Mahitha. K. from Don Bosco College, University of Kerala are the co-authors.

 

Shabin B.N

 

The paper explores the fragmented discourses in the Indian digital public sphere in a post-truth world. The normative concept of the public sphere by J├╝rgen Habermas has been brought under critical scrutiny in the era of emotional communication online. The digital world opened democratic and inclusive spaces that are desirable for a picture-perfect public sphere as imagined by Habermas. The low entry barriers and inclusivity of the digital public sphere changed the patterns of political communication worldwide. However, such a change is not an isolated event and must be located within the historical context of a changing political environment. Contemporary society has entered the post-truth era where opinionated, emotional outbursts downplay objective reality. The paper explores explicitly the public comments recorded under an infotainment video on the YouTube platform of a private channel in Kerala, the southernmost state of India. A case study method was adopted to analyze the theme, subtext, and visible structure of the discourse in the digital public sphere, which is a subset of the larger public sphere. Disconcertingly, the findings revealed fragmented discourses in a public sphere, characterized by unidimensional historical narratives, fallacious arguments, political apathy, and emotional or romanticized appeals, all of which are classic symptoms of a post-truth era.

 

The article can be accessed at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12115-023-00877-2#citeas