Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
John Michael Roberts
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. The election was notable for a number of reasons, not least for the fact that Obama was the first African American president. In addition, he was perceived by much of the American electorate and by many elsewhere in the world as a liberal alternative to the 8 years of neoconservative policy making under his predecessor George W. Bush. But there is another reason why Obama's election is important, one that directly concerns what is explored in this entry. This election opened up public spheres in societies across the world through which individuals debated and discussed the consequences and wider meaning of his victory. These debates were numerous, and the issues discussed varied according to factors such as social class, gender, religion, race and ethnicity, country of origin, media outlet, and so on. Nonetheless, the crucial point is ...