Starting from the point of view that human interaction with broader social structures occurs at least in part discursively, this paper suggests that as more and more socializing and knowledge gathering takes place online, the discourses propagated by the leading internet companies are important sites of critique and study. As such, this paper examines the discourses of one of the largest internet companies to consider the narratives that are created and reinforced through Google’s online corporate communications. This paper applies a mixed methods analysis to Google’s weblog from 2006 - 2011. First, a critical discourse analysis is conducted to reveal common themes, and then these themes are interrogated in more detail to reveal the most prominent narratives that Google uses to describe technology, information, and the role of the human technology user. Of particular interest are the questions: How is technology portrayed on the Google blog? What issues does Google identify as being most important? How does Google speak about information? And finally, how does Google construct the citizen subject in its text? Together, these discourses reveal certain ideologies about technology and the role of the human being as consumer that could reinforce Google’s position as an important public service in an information economy. In helping to maintain Google’s elite status with respect to new digital technologies, these discourses may or may not be in the best interests of the citizens who turn to Google for help navigating the online sea of information.
|Keywords:||Discourse, Technology, Subjectivity, Critical Discourse Analysis, Content Analysis, Google|
Ph.D. Candidate, Communication and Cultural Studies Program, York and Ryerson Universities, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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