Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 6 of 6 items for :

  • Social & Political Philosophy x
  • Applied Social Sciences x
  • Open accessible content x
Clear All

Komalsingh Rambaree and Stefan Sjöberg

Abstract

Despite a growing number of studies on human–animal interactions, empirical data focusing on companion animals within the context of health-promoting work-life are still limited. This article presents an analysis and discussion based on the perceptions of 22 students and staff from the University of Gävle in Sweden on the potential of companion animals for supportive functions in health-promoting work-life, as well as on the possible challenges of having companion animals on the premises of the University. Based on the findings, this article proposes that companion animals can indeed play vital supportive functions in health-promoting work-life, which are presented in the text as “forcing function,” “communication companion,” and “social skills.” However, this article also highlights the socio-economic, legal, and organizational challenges that need to be carefully considered and worked out for having companion animals in the workplace, such as in a university.

Helen Sampson

Abstract

This paper explores some of the different relationships that horses and humans experience in the case study country of Wales. In doing so, it pays attention to differential patterns of equine care/lack of care and explores these from a sociological perspective considering evidence of the potential impact of cultural practices and socio-economic status in particular. The paper concludes that access to common lands and “fly grazing” may be associated with specific values and norms which may result in equine neglect, while indicators of socio-economic deprivation and patterns of equine neglect do not seem to be related. The paper highlights the variation in equine care across this relatively small national population and suggests some areas where further explanatory work could usefully be undertaken in order for us to better understand the care-relationships between horses and their keepers.

Jennifer Carter and Clark Scott Taylor

Abstract

There is a critical need to reduce the surrender rates of companion animals by understanding the socio-economic circumstances of caretakers. This research analyzed questionnaires with 117 relinquishers and 13 interviews. Interviews were conducted with relinquishers and staff at Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge Society and Sunshine Coast Animal Pound. Most companion animals relinquished were from litters and around half were de-sexed and micro-chipped. A caretaker’s living situation was a critical reason for relinquishment. Humans need to understand the time and space needs of companion species, how these might change with time, and the relationality between humans and companion animals. Alongside regulated breeding and accessible sterilization, shelter staff and other organizations might offer more tailored solutions, especially temporary care, during times of socio-economic crisis. Fundamentally, individuals need to critically examine their commitment to caretaking, but solutions are also structural and should be tailored to the underpinning socio-economic geography of different regions.

Deer Who Are Distant

Response Congruency to Relative Pronouns Across Human and Nonhuman Entities

Denise Dillon and Josephine Pang

Abstract

The study explores the influence of relative pronouns who or that on attributions of humanness across four categories of entities (unnamed nonhuman animals, named animals, machines, and people). Eighty-three university students performed an attribution task where they saw a priming phrase containing one category item with either who or that (e.g., deer who are …) and then two trait attribute items (Uniquely Human uh/Human Nature hn word pairs; e.g., distant-nervous), from which they selected the trait attribute most meaningfully suited to the phrase. Data were analyzed with a repeated measures 2 (humanness: hn traits, uh traits) × 2 (pronoun: who, that) × 4 (category: unnamed animals, named animals, machines, people) anova. Participants responded relatively faster to hn trait attributes than to uh traits, and responded faster to named animals than to all other entities. Faster responses also ensued for people-who pairings than people-that pairings, and vice versa for named animals.

Purple Swamphen or Gallinule (Porphyrio porphyrio) and Humans

Forgotten History of Past Interactions

Ricardo Jorge Lopes, Juan Antonio Gomez, Alessandro Andreotti and Maura Andreoni

Our knowledge of the historical use of nonhuman animal species in captivity and subsequent human-induced changes in their distribution is poor in comparison to contemporary case studies. Here we assess the hypothesis that, in the case of one waterbird species, the purple swamphen or gallinule (Porphyrio porphyrio), we have neglected the high probability that people transported these birds within the Mediterranean, from Roman to recent times. In ancient iconographies, literary sources, and more recent records there is ample evidence for the use of this species in captivity, captive-breeding, and for trade during several historical periods, especially within the Mediterranean region. All this evidence supports the hypothesis that released or escaped birds might have hybridized with other populations living in the wild. This case study stresses the importance of taking into account past human activity when interpreting contemporary distributional patterns of species.

Richie Nimmo

Abstract

This article reflects upon the implications for sociology of the steady accumulation of evidence in the sciences of animal behavior pointing to the existence of culture among nonhuman animals. With a particular focus on primatology, it explores how these developments challenge the notions of “culture” that continue to inform the study of human social life. The article argues that this growing challenge to the assumption of human uniqueness that has historically provided the core rationale for sociology cannot be ignored. The paper thus contributes to the overdue work of articulating a constructive response by tracing the issues involved in the encounter between these knowledges. Theoretical currents from science studies and actor-network theory are drawn upon in order to propose a reflexive and symmetrical realignment of this encounter, with significant implications for our understandings of human and animal being and subjectivity.