ISSN 2630-0583 (Print)

ISSN 2630-0656 (Online)


Journal of Current Science and Technology

Rangsit Journal of Arts and Sciences. Vol.5 No.2 , July - December 2015.

Google and its power in shaping human knowledge

Taweesak Sangkapreecha and Pataraporn Sangkapreecha


          The process of information searching has been reshaped and constantly changed in this digital age.  At present, people  information searching practices rely heavily upon Internet search engines.  Drawing upon Foucault’s Concept of Power/Knowledge, this research study has provided insights into the new phenomenon of power in the age of Google.  It firstly explores how search engines work, how page ranking operates, how search results are listed as well as analyses its power in shaping knowledge outcomes.  The argument of this paper is that in the field of power represented by Google there is room for agency and choice.  If Internet users exercise their own power in searching for information, the Internet users themselves can systematise their own search strategies.  They can be certain of their ability to decide whether to trust information they found on the Internet.  According to Foucauldian analysis, power is a relationship between search engines and Internet users.  In this power relationship, the actions of the Internet users are very important.  Therefore, Internet users should actively play a leading action in producing and exercising their own power.  To achieve this power, information literacy is imperative.  Internet users have to critically analyse and skeptically evaluate the online information they found and incorporate selected information into their knowledge base and value system.  If this happens, a search engine will not occupy all the search space, yet all of the users will own their power in shaping the knowledge outcomes in this digital age.

Keywords: Google, Internet search engines, Foucault, power, knowledge

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DOI: 10.14456/rjas.2015.12