Simple Sets and Shifting Sands

The number of concepts, terms, and associations that are relevant to my PhD research is vast. Sketching and diagramming can provide an excellent way to explore the logic of a project. Thinking about how best to present ideas and describe relationships can be very useful at the early stages of the process – long before you start analysing and making sense of your original, empirical data. With that in mind, I thought I would have fun creating a simple Venn diagram to illustrate the present state of our public, private and semi-private spheres. Well, one possible version of them anyway! For this one, I decided to mess about with the very handy graphics software at Please click to see it in all its roughly sketched glory! Because this blog isn’t self-hosted I can’t embed their nifty viewer, sadly.

This Venn is only tangentially related to my thesis. I hope to create various maps and models 3 years from now that will illustrate and explore the intersections between New Media, Academia, and Participatory Theories. What I have confirmed (to myself anyway) – by comparing this one to older work on the same topic – is that the nature of our public/private worlds have changed a lot in recent decades; not least as a result of new media, new technologies, and new types of political, social, and commercial activity.

Jürgen Habermas presented his ever popular (but sometimes contested) understanding of the Bourgeois 18th century public sphere with “The usual reservations concerning the simplification involved in such illustrations”. Very wise!

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6 responses to “Simple Sets and Shifting Sands”

  1. mzi says :

    Thanks for the inspiration. I hope I can do something similar. Always fun and interesting to read your blog. However, it will be even more fun to meet over a margarita irl : )

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  1. Damned Lies and Statistics? | musingfrommanchester - August 28, 2013

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