ABSTRACT

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book brings psychoanalytic theory and methodology into conversation with digital media studies in general and audience research in particular. It also begins with the ‘older’ medium of television, featuring data from a research project on the British reality television programme Embarrassing Bodies. The book moves to ‘newer’ media and discusses the Embarrassing Bodies viewers’ inhibited use of Twitter. It presents data from another research project on the affective labour on social media of individuals with facial disfigurements. The book also discusses big data and the dis/individualising process of data mining through the psychoanalytic notion of perversion. It relies on psychoanalysis, especially Sigmund Freud and Didier Anzieu, in order to conceptualise and research the relationship between the social, affect, notions of the human subject, and media use.