‘American’; ‘Native American’; ‘Fat Americans’; ‘Stupid Americans’; ‘American funny’; ‘American people’.
Is this what really comes to mind when people think about American identity?
Is this an adequate representation of what it means to be an American?
Is this how we see ourselves or how other people see us?
Click on the image below to enlarge. Interested to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment below.
2 thoughts on “What Happens When You Google “American”?”
You ask interesting questions, Craig! I enjoyed taking Sociology courses very much, though I haven’t had any recently. One thing I remember learning in them was to try and analyze biases present in information sources. Which questions are asked in which way will steer poll results, for example.
Google isn’t objective information. Image search results are biased toward bright colors and photographs produced for sales, promotional purposes or by news outlets. A third of Americans do not own or use computers, including most seniors. Most people in general have photos of their own families and lives, but a large portion of those aren’t uploaded, and so would not show up in search results. They would, however, be a more accurate representation of what it means to be an American, or citizen of wherever else. They would illustrate what average people care most about.
Using Google to estimate American identity is like looking at a gallery of snapshots taken only at theme parks.
Thanks a million. Yes, this is a very important subject: I believe it has something to do with historiography (with how history is written and who writes it).