Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies

Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies

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by Margo DeMello
     
 

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Human–animal studies explores human–animal relations and the place of animals within human social and cultural worlds. Considering that much of human society is structured through its interaction with non-human animals, and since human society relies heavily on the exploitation of animals to serve human needs, human–animal studies has become a rapidly…  See more details below

Overview

Human–animal studies explores human–animal relations and the place of animals within human social and cultural worlds. Considering that much of human society is structured through its interaction with non-human animals, and since human society relies heavily on the exploitation of animals to serve human needs, human–animal studies has become a rapidly expanding field of research, featuring a number of distinct positions, perspectives, and theories that require nuanced explanation and contextualization.

The first textbook to provide a full overview of human–animal studies for students, general readers, and scholars, this volume focuses on the conceptual construction of animals in American culture and the way in which it reinforces and perpetuates hierarchical human relationships rooted in racism, sexism, and class privilege. Margo DeMello considers interactions between humans and animals within the family, the law, the religious and political system, and other major social institutions, and she unpacks the different identities humans fashion for themselves and for others through animals. DeMello also covers speciesism and evolutionary continuities; the role and preservation of animals in the wild; the debate over zoos and the use of animals in sports; domestication; agricultural practices such as factory farming; vivisection; animal cruelty; animal activism; the representation of animals in literature and film; and animal ethics. Sidebars in each chapter highlight contemporary controversies and issues, with recommendations for additional reading, educational films, and related websites. DeMello concludes with an analysis of major philosophical positions on human social policy and the future of human–animal relations.

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Editorial Reviews

Claire Jean Kim
As one of the founders of this field and someone who has helped guide its development, DeMello is uniquely situated to write this book. She does an admirable job detailing the history of human–animal studies, its intricate relations to other fields, and its multi/interdisciplinarity. The right book at the right time.

Arnold Arluke
A 'must' book to own and read. Each chapter is filled with insights extending our understanding of the role and meaning of non-human animals in the modern age. Animals and Society is an essential addition to our bookshelves, required readings, citations lists, and textbook adoptions.

Clifton P. Flynn
The first published text in human–animal studies, this volume undoubtedly sets the standard. Comprehensive in scope, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in approach, painstakingly researched and wonderfully written, it should be the choice for human-animal studies courses in a variety of disciplines. A most impressive accomplishment.

Choice

A valuable resource.... Recommended.

San Francisco Book Review - D. Wayne Dworsky
Animals and Society is a substantial encyclopedic resource for understanding the nature of our interactions involving animals.

Zeteo
DeMello's book surpasses the typical textbook in offering a well-written overview of the field, with historical and cultural coverage of the changing categorizations of animals, the social construction of animals, the various human use of animals, attitudes toward animals, and symbolic manifestations of animals.

PsycCritiques - Anne McBride
A well-considered and artfully structured work that provokes thoughtful reflection and stimulates ideas for both theoretical and applied study; it is a worthwhile addition to my library.

Humanimalia: A Journal of Human/Animal Interface Studies
Organizing a new, interdisciplinary field is no easy task, and overall DeMello has done a very fine job.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231526760
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
09/18/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
488
File size:
12 MB
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What People are saying about this

Clifton P. Flynn

As the first published text in Human-Animal Studies, DeMello's Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human Animal Studies has undoubtedly set the standard for the field. Comprehensive in scope, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in approach, painstakingly researched and wonderfully written, this volume should be the choice for Human-Animal Studies courses in a variety of disciplines, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. And the inclusion of essays from professionals in various disciplines is an added bonus. A most impressive accomplishment!

Clifton P. Flynn, University of South Carolina Upstate

Arnold Arluke

Margo DeMello's Animals and Society is a "must" book to own and read for scholars, advocates, and others interested in the growing field of anthrozoology. Each chapter is filled with insights that extend our understanding of the role and meaning of non-human animals in the modern age. I am sure that Animals and Society will be an essential addition to our bookshelves, required readings, citations lists, and textbook adoptions in the years to come.

Arnold Arluke, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Northeastern University, Boston

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Meet the Author

Margo DeMello teaches anthropology and sociology at Central New Mexico Community College. She is also the program director for human–animal studies at the Animals&Society Institute and executive director of House Rabbit Society. Her books include Speaking for Animals: Animal Autobiographical Writing; Teaching the Animal: Human-Animal Studies Across the Disciplines; Stories Rabbits Tell: A Natural and Cultural History of a Misunderstood Creature; and Why Animals Matter: The Case for Animal Protection.

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