Lars Frers


Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Science
Department of Culture, Religion and Social Studies
Campus Notodden (S-437D)
My main competence lies in the field of tension between research practice and theory, with focus on qualitative methods, research ethics, and the sociology of science. My main interest as researcher is to understand, present and critique how our surroundings shape the way we interact with others. In the way we perceive and interact with our surroundings, we experience and (re)produce social control – as children, as handicapped people, as white people, … We do this in interaction with things and in the context of spatio-temporal arrangements. How is this control established through our senses? How can we notice and act upon something that is “in” our senses and bodies? To get a grip on these questions, I often make use of visual and mobile methods, putting the body into focus and studying the way it moves through and relates to its surroundings. Since we experience more than mere materiality or “stuff”, I also engage with experiences of absence and with the sense-making that is established through movements themselves. In addition, I am also interested in research’s ‘grey zones’ and failures, and how one can establish and maintain an ethics of care in all of the steps that we need to take in research projects as well as professional practice.



Research areas

qualitative methods; failure in research and professional practice; research ethics; space–materiality–mobility; body & the senses; phenomenology & ethnomethodology; science & technology studies (STS); urban studies; heritage; social control & resistance; absence; climate change

Research projects & networks

2015: member of Telemark University College’s research committee

Peer review for: Theory, Culture & Society; Qualitative Research; Cultural Geographies; Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques; Qualitative Sociology; Space and Culture; Urban Studies; Current Sociology; Visual Studies; Nature and Culture; Area; Transfers; Journal of Urban Cultural Studies; Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie; Sosiologisk Tidsskrift; Ambiance; Kriminologisches Journal; FORMakademisk; Europa Regional; Nordisk kulturpolitisk tidsskrift; Norsk Pedagogisk Tidsskrift; Bebyggelsehistorisk tidskrift; and for Ashgate Publishers.

Main supervisor for finished PhDs: Ana Koncul (USN); secondary supervisor for Ann Hege Lorvik Waterhouse (USN), Melissa A. Murphy (NMBU), Karin Hognestad (USN), Marit Bøe (USN).


I studied sociology at Universität Kiel, Humboldt Universität Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin (all in Germany) and at Indiana Unversity Bloomington (USA). I received my diploma (Dipl. Soz, equivalent to MA) from Freie Universität Berlin in 2002. At Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany) I had a PhD scholarship and received a Dr. phil. (PhD) in sociology in 2006. Afterwards I worked as janitor, and as postdoc and researcher in several institutions: Technische Universität Darmstadt, Universitet i Oslo, Arkitektur- og Designhøgskolen and at Universität Hamburg. From 2012 onwards I had a permanent position at Telemark University College (which later became part of USN), where I was promoted to full professor in 2014. I also had a position as professor for qualitative methods at NTNU’s Department of Sociology and Political Science from 2014-2015.

In 2019, I was appointed as leader of the board for USN’s PhD in Culture Studies and elected as member of USN’s board.

For a full cv, more information and direct download links for my publications see my personal website and my ResearchGate profile.


Check out my publications profile at Google Scholar or Cristin (Norwegian, includes presentations).