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Summer 2005, pages 75 - 100

Truth Floats: Reflexivity in the Shifting Public and Epistemological Terrain

ABSTRACT: Rhetorical conceptions of the public sphere emphasize conversation as central to democracy, yet the salience of conversation to public life is being diminished by changes in the forms and formats of information that U.S. publics receive. A proliferation of reflexive representations across genres, and changed media practices, contribute to a climate in which rhetorical deliberation is undermined and various U.S. publics' ability to discern what to believe is greatly decreased. Manufactured risks illustrate the significance of these changes and they suggest that further scrutiny of media practices and advocacy of information that serves public interests is crucial for sustaining democracy.

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