Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Approaches to Digital Culture

This study group analyses digital culture in its various forms from a psychoanalytic and psychosocial perspective. Members also draw on other disciplines in their work.



Professor Lynn Froggett (University of Central Lancashire)

Dr Steffen Krüger (University of Oslo)

Professor Vera King (Goethe University Frankfurt / Sigmund Freud Institute Frankfurt)

Professor James Martin (Goldsmiths)

Dr Jacob Johanssen (University of Westminster)

Dr Darren Ellis (University of East London)

Professor Candida Yates (Bournemouth University)

Dr Leslie Gardner (University of Essex)

Dr Ian McGimpsey (University of Birmingham)

Dr Caroline Pelletier (Institute of Education, UCL)


Recent events

Irresistible Forms of Interaction

Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Approaches to Media Culture

23/11/2018, Litteraturhuset, Oslo,


Organised by: Dr. Steffen Krüger, Guro Torget (MA) and Claudia L. V. Merkl (BA) Dept. of Media and Communication, University of Oslo. With generous support from the Research Council of Norway (RCN), the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo (IMK, UiO), Media-Aesthetics, as well as PolKom – Centre for the Study of Political Communication.



This symposium brings together prolific voices from the fields of psychosocial and psychoanalytic studies, offering in-depth analyses of digital media culture. Presentations range from inquiries into fragmented attention to deep play and video-games, from fantasies of masculinity in the ‘Incel’ movement to the psychical dimensions of public argument and the libidinal economy of corporate online platforms.

Our common denominator are forms of interaction. The psychoanalyst and sociologist Alfred Lorenzer (1922–2002) defined such forms as the fundamental building blocks of everyday life. These forms of interaction are literally irresistible, unfurling automatically in routine situations and offering an embodied and relational grounding to our being in the world. Forms of interaction both ‘keep us going’ and hold us in place. Their socialising forces reside in routines and habits.

The commercial Internet has brought forth a plethora of such forms of interaction: likes, swipes, streaks, tweets, shares, posts, pokes, comments, scrolls, votes – all of them are now part of our social texture. Looking into these forms, this symposium sheds light on their overall formative powers. How is attention shaped online and with what effects? How are arguments fleshed out and how are they made to touch us? What fantasies about gender relations are circulating online? How are video-games played and with what socialising effects? What affective dispositions are produced by the commercial orientations of major Internet platforms? It is questions such as these that the symposium will take up and offer answers to from a psychoanalytically informed perspective.



Confirmed speakers:

  • Lynn Froggett (Professor of Psychosocial Welfare, University of Central Lancashire)

Deep Play and Video-Games


  • Jacob Johanssen (Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster)

Desiring Fascist Bodies? Incels and Fantasies of Masculinity


  • Vera King (Head of the Sigmund Freud Institute, Frankfurt):

Irresistible Interactions and Fragmented Attention


  • James Martin (Professor of Political Theory, Goldsmiths, University of London)

The Flesh of Argument


  • Steffen Krüger (Postdoc, University of Oslo)

Platformed Selves – Caricatures of the Corporate Internet