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The search-ification of everyday life and the mundane-ification of search

Olof Sundin (Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Jutta Haider (Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Cecilia Andersson (Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Hanna Carlsson (Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Sara Kjellberg (Lund University, Lund, Sweden)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 13 March 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how meaning is assigned to online searching by viewing it as a mundane, yet often invisible, activity of everyday life and an integrated part of various social practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Searching is investigated with a sociomaterial approach with a starting point in information searching as entangled across practices and material arrangements and as a mundane part of everyday life. In total, 21 focus groups with 127 participants have been carried out. The study focusses particularly on peoples’ experiences and meaning-making and on how these experiences and the making of meaning could be understood in the light of algorithmic shaping.

Findings

An often-invisible activity such as searching is made visible with the help of focus group discussions. An understanding of the relationship between searching and everyday life through two interrelated narratives is proposed: a search-ification of everyday life and a mundane-ification of search.

Originality/value

The study broadens the often narrow focus on searching in order to open up for a research-based discussion in information science on the role of online searching in society and everyday life.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The work was funded by the Swedish Research Council through the framework grant “Knowledge in a Digital World. Trust, Credibility and Relevance on the Web”.

Citation

Sundin, O., Haider, J., Andersson, C., Carlsson, H. and Kjellberg, S. (2017), "The search-ification of everyday life and the mundane-ification of search", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 73 No. 2, pp. 224-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-06-2016-0081

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited