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.
Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studiesby Margo DeMello
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Humananimal studies explores humananimal 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, humananimal 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 humananimal 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 humananimal relations.
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.
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.
A valuable resource.... Recommended.
Animals and Society is a substantial encyclopedic resource for understanding the nature of our interactions involving animals.
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.
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.
Organizing a new, interdisciplinary field is no easy task, and overall DeMello has done a very fine job.
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What People are saying about this
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
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
Meet the Author
Margo DeMello teaches anthropology and sociology at Central New Mexico Community College. She is also the program director for humananimal 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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This book contained a large amount of information regarding human and animal relationships. While the information was fantastic, the author does a poor job remaining objective to the subject, often displaying biases towards the material in a way it is very difficult to get through in certain areas It feels as though the author is quite judgmental in her opinions and cannot separate those feelings from the facts. If I were to rate this soley on information, I would give it a 5 if it were to remain objective, but the points of view taken by the author make some information biased in her approach to its delivery taking mainly one side while putting her emotions in the material. It comes to a lack of respect for other people's religious and cultureal beliefs. This book gets a 3 because the amount of information is wonderful, if you don't mind taking the time to do some research on your own to get the other side.