Posthuman Community in the Edgelands

In: Society & Animals
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  • 1 School of Social Sciences, University of East London, United Kingdom

This paper draws on a study of companion animals in human households and public spaces, deploying material gained by ethnographic observation and interviews with dog walkers in urban and rural contexts. The communities which are the subject of this study frequent public places that might be described as “Edgeland” space where dogs and “dog people” meet. It is argued the relationships between cross-species packs of people and dogs that develop over time in the routine practice of walking are micro-communities inclusive of both dogs and their human companions. These might be understood as posthuman social forms with particular characteristics of inclusivity, diversity, and reconstitution. Human members of such communities are also invested in, and defensive of, Edgeland spaces and engaged in practices of care for both human and canine walkers.

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