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Beyond Dominance and Affection: Living with Rabbits in Post-Humanist Households

In: Society & Animals
Author: Julie Ann Smith
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Abstract

Nearly 20 years age, Yi-Fu Tuan wrote his influential Dominance and Affection:The Making of Pets (1984), which argued that human affection for domestic animals is inseparable from dominance. Today, cultural critics persist in the view that companion animals are compromised, even degraded, because they are controlled by humans. The essay attempts to rethink the relationship between humans and companion animals beyond the freedom-dominance binary. It argues for a conceptual approach that defers confidant interpretation of animals while dramatically relaxing control of them within human settings. It suggests that this approach be called a "performance ethic" and offered the House Rabbit Society as a model.

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