Despite the interest that sociologists, especially in the English-speaking world, show in animals and human-animal relations, we know little about the place that animals actually have in work. The social sciences still see work as a distinctive feature of humans. Based on the hypothesis that animals are actors involved in the process of work, and not simply objects, the relationship of a herd of 60 cows was studied (a) with their farmer, (b) among themselves, and (c) with a milking robot. Our findings show that cows do collaborate in the farmer’s work, and our results raise the question: can cows’ collaboration in work be considered work?
PorcherJ.Ouvrière en production porcine industrielle : Le prix de la reconnaissanceWomen workers in the pig industry: The cost of reconnaissanceEthnographiques.org2008AprilAvailable at: http://www.ethnographiques.org/2008/Porcher
StrumS.LatourB.AkrichM.CallonM.LatourB.Redéfinir le lien social: Des babouins aux humainsRedefining the social bond: From baboons to humans2006ParisPresses de l’Ecole des Mines de Paris7186Sociologie de la traduction [Sociology of translation]Available at: http://www.bruno-latour.fr/articles/1987.html.