An Examination of Animal Service Officers' Views on their Readiness to Report Domestic Violence
Abigail Marie Malick
In the past few decades there has been research dedicated to understanding the roles that animals play within violent households. The American Humane Association (2010) has developed what they termed The Link. This concept examines how forms of violence, including domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and animal abuse, are often intertwined. This qualitative study was facilitated using focus groups and interviews of animal service officers in Orange County, Florida to evaluate the relationship between the animal service organization and a local domestic violence shelter, then provide recommendations to strengthen this partnership. There were a total of 22 Orange County Animal Services employees who participated in four different focus group sessions, and two interviews with officers who had previously made referrals to Harbor House of Central Florida, the local domestic violence shelter. Results show that animal service officers view themselves as often being the first responders to a situation and, hence, an agent to help all victims, including both animals and humans. Participants indicated that their relationship with Harbor House of Central Florida has been weak and that many were unfamiliar with the referral program known as INVEST. Officers and personnel provided recommendations to strengthen their relationship with Harbor House of Central Florida that included trainings, support, and resources they felt were needed.
Session 26 Angela Mertig, Organizer
Large or Small Knowledge: Boundaries and their Consequences for Veterinary Students within the Tracking System
Jenny Reese Vermilya
Although what we consider different species of animals is in part biological, the difference is also the product of social construction, which has real consequences for the treatment of animals and the humans interacting with those animals. These consequences play out prominently in the profession of veterinary medicine, and reveal themselves in what is referred to as a "tracking" system used at the level of training. Tracking allows students to specialize in particular areas of animal medicine and focus on specific species. This project uses tracking systems in veterinary medicine as a case study of how to examine the creation of, maintenance of, and changes to the boundaries surrounding different animal species. Using veterinary medical education as a site to understand how boundaries manifest, I will contribute to various sociological topics; specifically, I will analyze the maintenance of specialty knowledge and the resulting privileging of knowledge.
Are People More Disturbed by Animal or Human Suffering: The Influence of Species and Age
Jack Levin and Arnold Arluke
This research examines the widely held belief that people are more emotionally disturbed by reports of animal than human suffering or abuse. Two hundred and fifty six undergraduates at a major northeastern university were asked to indicate their degree of empathy for either a brutally beaten human adult or child versus an adult dog or puppy, as described in a fictitious news report. In a 2 (dog vs human) X 2 (infant or puppy vs adult) factorial experimental design, participants responded to one of four vignettes on a scale designed to assess their degree of empathy. We hypothesized that the dependence of victims-their age and not species-would determine participants' level of distress and concern for them. However, results revealed a somewhat more complicated picture. The main effect for age but not for species was significant. In a significant interaction effect, moreover, we found significantly more empathy for victims who are human children, puppies and fully-grown dogs than for victims who are adult humans. In other words, age makes a difference for empathy toward human victims, but not for dog victims. We also found that female participants were significantly more empathic toward victims -either human or animal-than were their male counterparts.
Spectacular Morality and Mediated Representations: Explaining Mediated Claimes Surrounding Nonhuman Animals
Brian M. Lowe
This paper examines relationships between mediated representations of nonhuman animals and public perceptions of claims for moral and ethical consideration towards them as a case study of "spectacular morality" in which a degree of social and political attention retained by one or more specific concerns is correlated with the capacity to be depicted in a manner which is both coherent and compelling to viewing audiences, possibly evoking a degree of moral shock. Through an examination of successful animal rights protests, documentary films focused on questions of human-animal interaction and an analysis of 235 English-language newspaper articles, the significant of these mediated representations on claims of animal advocates is considered in terms of how they may strengthen or weaken claims made surrounding these animals as platforms for "moralization" (Rozin, 1997). This project suggests that four significant variables are involved in influencing to what degree specific concerns involving nonhuman animals may ascend within what Bob (2005) terms the "global morality market" and become recognized as a social problem.
Invited Session 59 was group discussion: Animals and the Environment: Exploring Sociological Connections
Participants included Thomas Dietz, Colin Jerolmack, Cam Whitley standing in for Linda Kalof and David Nibert.
Section Business Meeting
Legitimation, Naturalization and the Production of Human and Nonhuman Consent in Circus Discourse
Jessica Bell (Michigan State University)
Session 149 Thomas Dietz, Organizer
Political Interventions in the Urban Environment: "The Great Budapest Rat Massacre"
Virag Molnar (New School for Social Research)
Taking Care of Pets: Institutional Policies, Interpretive Frameworks, and Practices regarding Domestic Animals in Newfoundland
Mark C. Stoddard, Liam Swiss, Nicole G. Power and Lawrence Felt (Memorial University)
Toward an Ontology of of the Bee: Ethnography and Urban Beekeeping
Lisa Jean Moore and Mary Kosut (SUNY- Purchase College)
FACES on the street.
FACES on leaving.