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A Language of Their Own: An Interactionist Approach to Human-Horse Communication

In: Society & Animals
Author: Keri Brandt
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Abstract

This paper explores the process of human-horse communication using ethnographic data of in-depth interviews and participant observation. Guided by symbolic interactionism, the paper argues that humans and horses co-create a language system by way of the body to facilitate the creation of shared meaning. This research challenges the privileged status of verbal language and suggests that non-verbal communication and language systems of the body have their own unique complexities. This investigation of humanhorse communication offers new possibilities to understand the subjective and intersubjective world of non-verbal language using beings—human and nonhuman alike.

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