Once seen as a harbinger of a new enlightened capitalism, Google has become a model of robber baron rapaciousness thanks to its ruthless monetizing of private data, obsession with monopoly, and pervasive systems of labor discrimination and exploitation. Using the company as a jumping-off point, ShinJoung Yeo explores the political economy of the search engine industry against the backdrop of the relationship between information and capitalism’s developmental processes. Yeo’s critical analysis draws on in-depth discussions of essential issues like how the search engine evolved into a ubiquitous commercial service, it’s place in a global information business that is restructuring the information industry and our very social lives, who exactly designs and uses search technology, what kinds of workers labor behind the scenes, and the influence of geopolitics.
An incisive look at a pervasive presence in our lives, Behind the Search Box places the search engine industry’s rise and ongoing success within an original political economy of digital capitalism.
Searching for Profits
Laboring Behind the Search
Digital Welfare Capitalism
Market Dynamics and Geopolitics
ShinJoung Yeo is assistant professor of media studies at Queens College, City University of New York.
“The book reminds readers that despite all the various new labels of supposedly new forms of capitalism, we really are still talking about capitalism after all. An important book that promises to make a major contribution to the ever-accumulating research on the new digital monopolies. Yeo’s analysis is original and incisive.”--Victor Pickard, author of Democracy Without Journalism? Confronting the Misinformation Society