Search Engine Society
Search Engine Society
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 the 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 search engines changed the way we organize our thoughts about the world, and how we work?
* What are the ‘search engine wars', what do they portend for the future of search, and who wins or loses?
* 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 shape 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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More Info
  • December 2008
  • 196 pages
  • 158 x 218 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9780745642147
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9780745642154
  • Open eBook $26.95
  • 9780745656236
Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Engines.

Chapter 2: Searching.

Chapter 3: Attention.

Chapter 4: Knowledge & Democracy.

Chapter 5: Censorship.

Chapter 6: Privacy.

Chapter 7: Sociable Search.

Chapter 8: Future Finding.




About the Author
Alexander Halavais is a social architect, interested in ways of helping form a culture of creativity, freedom and justice. He is an assistant professor at Quinnipiac University, where he teaches in a masters program in interactive communications. Halavais has published extensively on the role of computing in social change, and edited an anthology entitled ‘Cyberporn & Society.’
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“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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