Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 280–297 | Cite as

Psychoanalytic reflections on (the cultural studies of) CCTV culture

  • Claus-Ulrich Viol
Original Article


Studies of surveillance and CCTV culture so far have strongly focused on the panoptical and ban-optical dimensions of the phenomena, stressing their authoritarian and socially divisive purposes and effects. This article argues for the need to also take into account the complicity and unconscious investment of the modern subject in forms of optical surveillance. Offering a series of psychoanalytically informed readings, it seeks to exemplify how cultural studies, as a discipline, will gain by (re)employing psychoanalytic approaches, and how it will be able, through addressing some of the unconscious motivations behind CCTV, to identify new possibilities for political interventions in surveillance practice.


cultural studies surveillance CCTV narcissism fetishism fantasy 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ruhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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