What is a Public?

Everywhere you go public surrounds you. There is the large encompassing public of America or any other country, and then the sub-cultures within that country.  For America it could be the 50 states. For instance, the reason why New Yorkers think southerners drive too slow is because they come from a different public. 

Image Credit “Krug and Pullman,” by Robert Scales

You can break it down even further if you look at the towns within states. Finally there are the businesses, schools, and churches within a town that have an even more specified public. 

I don’t think I ever realized how many publics I was a part of until I thought about this question. My family has moved a lot, so although I am not as closely affiliated with many of the “publics” I once was very close to, I still keep in contact.  

It is sometimes strange returning to something that you used to be a part of, because sometimes the public has changed (and I have changed), so it really doesn’t feel like the same culture you left.

When I go home I am involved with my church, family, and town activities. When I am at school I am more involved with family (by phone), friends, studies, church, and work. However, my church in Lakeland is a very different public from my church in Atlanta, even though both would be in the same broad category of charismatic.  

I have also seen how my personality or outlook on life changes, as I am more or less involved with a certain public. However, one thing I look for as I try out different sub-cultures, is how will this public change me for the better and how could I help to change it for the better.

I also have been blessed many times by having publics overlap, and that is positive, because it helps to build a larger sense of community. For instance, I have had friends from school come to my youth group or theater club.

That is one of the reasons I enjoy college so much — it feels like so many parts of my world intersect or touch other segments.  I can go to school, meals, and in some cases, back to my dorm with all my friends. Then on Sunday I normally carpool to a church with some of the same public I see every day at school. Overlap is not always good, but sometimes it can feel really comfortable.



About seagirl29

I am currently a student at a University in Florida and studying to receive a major in Communication and a minor in Missions. I have a passion for writing. I also love going on mission trips and watching as the Lord works in unexpected ways.
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