Situated Activities in a Dog Park: Identity and Conflict in Human-Animal Space

In: Society & Animals
Patrick Jackson Sonoma State University

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This study examines how people engage with the dynamic environment of the dog park in the face of unclear or ambiguous rules and emergent norms. Using participant observation, the analysis shows how, in the formal dog park, caretakers become “control managers” who must negotiate problems related to a variety of dog behaviors, especially mounting, aggression, and waste management. In this process, caretakers use various strategies to manage their own and others’ possible perceptions and understandings of appropriate behavior for dogs in public places.

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