The Smiling Professions
DOI link for The Smiling Professions
The Smiling Professions book
This chapter considers the philosophical rationale of that campaign, where what was known in the seventeenth century as the 'common-people' were brought into the purview of the first modern political philosophy, in the guise of blank sheets of paper on which government would print its own authorized opinions. The popular media may be better at their historic job of public-creation than they are commonly given credit for. The chapter discusses the philosophical rationale and the social mechanisms for creating the public, underlying it all is a contrary sense that of the three main institutions of 'publicity' - government, education and the media. The idea that authority and authorship are literally coterminous, and thence the idea that the public is a text written by government, may seem to be ultra-postmodern notions. In the realm of symbolic and social knowledge, beyond the purview and beneath the contempt of formal learning, the popular media were in the business of practical public creation.