The purpose of this study was to analyze the work of German philosopher Jürgen Habermas, focusing on his theory of communicative action. In his work, Habermas specifically probes the epistemological question; how human beings can know anything at all? Through an interconnected scheme of: survival challenges, knowledge and action; there is found grounding for the physical sciences, the social sciences and philosophy itself. Communicative action becomes the “glue” that holds society together in reference to those sciences, for Habermas, communicative action is how shared meaning about the world is established and it is through communicative action and based on communicative action that humanity can be gauged on a progressive path to freedom from social domination. Habermas used his theory to critique mass communication such as news and entertainment within that framework. This paper expands that critique asking the pros and cons of the use of social media for mass communication; suggesting that in many aspects it is a positive force for the furthering of knowledge through communication, however there may be limits and distortions to communication that inhibit the growth of further knowledge due to the use of technology that leads to a lack of face to face connection.
Kaye, Jonathan, "Communicative Action and Mass Communication via Internet Technologies" (2014). 2014 Honors Council of the Illinois Region Papers. 2.