Herds and Hierarchies: Class, Nature, and the Social Construction of Horses in Equestrian Culture

In: Society & Animals
Kendra Coulter Brock University

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This study centers on equestrian show culture in Ontario, Canada, and examines how horses are entangled symbolically and materially in socially constructed hierarchies of value. After examining horse-show social relations and practices, the paper traces the connections among equestrian culture, class, and the social constructions of horses. Equestrian relations expose multiple hierarchical intersections of nature and culture within which both human-horse relations and horses are affected by class structures and identities. In equestrian culture, class affects relations within and across species, and how horses are conceptualized and used, as symbols and as living animal bodies.

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