Google, google search, arrangement, pattern, critical media literacy, network, network connection, interface, political interface, cultural interface, digital composing, digital rhetoric, postcolonial rhetoric, power, persuasion, search event
This project responds to an ongoing discussion in scholarship that identifies and analyzes the ideological functions of computer interfaces. In 1994, Cynthia Selfe and Richard Selfe claimed that interfaces are maps of cultural information and are therefore ideological (485). For Selfe and Selfe and other scholars, these interfaces carried a colonial ideology that resulted in Western dominance over other cultures. Since this early scholarship, our perspectives on interface have shifted with changing technology; interfaces can no longer be treated as having persistent and predictable characteristics like texts. I argue that interfaces are interactions among dynamic information that is constantly being updated online. One of the most prominent ways users interact with information online is through the use of search engines such as Google. Interfaces like Google assist users in navigating dynamic cultural information. How this information is arranged in a Google search event has a profound impact on what meaning we make surrounding the search term. In this project, I argue that colonial ideologies are upheld in several Google search events for the term "Benghazi, Libya." I claim that networked connection during Google search events leads to the creation and sustainment of a colonial ideology through patterns of arrangement. Finally, I offer a methodology for understanding how ideologies are created when search events occur. This methodology searches for patterns in connected information in order to understand how they create an ideological lens.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Writing and Rhetoric
English; Rhetoric and Composition
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Stewart, Jacob, "Arrangement of Google Search Results and Imperial Ideology: Searching for Benghazi, Libya" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4487.