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Search Engine Society, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-5095-1683-4
240 pages
December 2017, Polity
Search Engine Society, 2nd Edition (1509516832) cover image


Search engines have become a key part of our everyday lives. Yet there is growing concern with how algorithms, which run just beneath the surface of our interactions online, are affecting society. This timely new edition of Search Engine Society enlightens readers on the forms of bias that algorithms introduce into our knowledge and social spaces, drawing on recent changes to technology, industries, policies, and research. It provides an introduction to the social place of the search engine and addresses crucial questions such as:

  • How have search engines changed the way we organize our thoughts about the world, and how we work?
  • To what extent do politics shape search, and does search shape politics?

This book is a must-read for those who wish to understand the future of the social internet and how search shapes it.

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: The Engines
  • Chapter 2: Searching
  • Chapter 3: Sociable Search
  • Chapter 4: Attention
  • Chapter 5: Knowledge and Democracy
  • Chapter 6: Control
  • Chapter 7: Privacy
  • Chapter 8: Future Finding
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Author Information

Alexander Halavais is Associate Professor of Social Technologies at Arizona State University.
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New to This Edition

-Increased coverage of the social effects of algorithms

-Coverage of recent changes to technology, industries, policies, and research

-Addresses timely new questions pertaining to the future of search and its relevance to education, knowledge, work, privacy, and social power
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"Alex Halavais' Search Engine Society instantly became essential reading for all of us who cared how Google was shaping our minds and lives. It's clear, well organized, accessible, and deep. I'm excited to see this new and updated edition. I will assign it in classes and cite it for many years."
Siva Vaidhyanathan, The University of Virginia

"I am thrilled that Halavais has updated Search Engine Society. It was already the definitive statement on the place and power of search in digital society, and the questions he so presciently raised almost a decade ago, about the impact of search engines on commerce, knowledge, and politics, are only more pressing today. To that, he has now addressed recent innovations in search technology, the public and political prominence of Google, Facebook as a kind of search engine, and the enormous public and scholarly concern around algorithms, data, and machine learning - for which search is a central concern."
Tarleton Gillespie, Microsoft Research and Cornell University
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