Search Engine Society / Edition 1

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Overview

"Alex Halavais has done us a great favor with this book. He explains lucidly what is at stake in the emerging 'Search Engine Society.' This book is destined to be a central work in the field of digital media studies for many years." Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia

"Too many of us approach search engines as if they are neutral, democratic, all-revealing guides to the internet. Alex Halavais shows that this belief can actually be dangerous, and he provocatively suggests ways to rethink our personal and collective policies toward search systems in the interest of a healthy civic culture." Joseph Turow, University of Pennsylvania

Search engines have become a key part of our everyday lives. Yet while much has been written about how to use search engines and how they can be improved, there has been comparatively little exploration of what their social and cultural effects might be. Like all technologies, search engines exist within a larger political, cultural, and economic environment. This volume aims to redress this balance and to address crucial questions such as:

• How have seach engines changed the way we organize our thoughts about the world, and how we work?

• To what extent does political control of search engines, or the political influence of search engines, affect how they are used, misused, and regulated?

• Does the search engine help share our identities and interactions with others, and what implications does this have for privacy?

Informed members of the information society must understand the social contexts in which search engines have been developed, what that development says about us as a society, and the role of the search engine in the global information environment. This book provides the perfect starting point.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Alex Halavais has done us a great favor with this book. He explains lucidly what is at stake in the emerging ‘Search Engine Society’. This book is destined to be a central work in the field of digital media studies for many years.”
Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia

“Too many of us approach search engines as if they are neutral, democratic, all-revealing guides to the internet. Alex Halavais shows that this belief can actually be dangerous, and he provocatively suggests ways to rethink our personal and collective policies toward search systems in the interest of a healthy civic culture.”
Joseph Turow, University of Pennsylvania

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 The Engines 5

2 Searching 32

3 Attention 56

4 Knowledge and Democracy 85

5 Censorship 118

6 Privacy 139

7 Sociable Search 160

8 Future Finding 181

Notes 192

Glossary 195

Bibliography 200

Index 226

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