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The turning to the coffeehouse as a primary meeting place coincided in Britain with the outburst of clubmania, which is the subject of Peter Clark's British Clubs and Societies, 1580-1800. (2) Yet clubs even more than coffeehouses were a retreat from any sense of a collective public sphere, through being composed of tightly knit groups of individuals united by a common interest, through strictly controlling entry, and through restricting discussion to matters about which members were in broad agreement. Clubs constructed upon a more eclectic basis would often have explicit rules forbidding political and religious discussion, thus removing one of the assumed engines of the public sphere.
rhandler Local time: 18:10 Native speaker of: Portuguese PRO pts in category: 60