Demographic Representations in Nonhuman Animal Rights Magazines and the Implications for Mobilization Efforts and diversity
Corey Lee Wrenn, Colorado State University
Lack of diversity in the ranks as well as a failure to resonate with disadvantaged groups and other anti-oppression movements has been cited as one important barrier to the Nonhuman Animal rights movement’s success (Kymlicka and Donaldson 2013). While a variety of factors influence a movement's homogeneity, it is possible that social movements are actively reproducing a specific demographic through movement-produced literature that reflects a narrow activist identity. Social movement research on collective action motivation and research on the media’s role in constructing identity suggests the possibility of such a link. A content analysis of 131 magazine covers was conducted to demonstrate that activist representations in Nonhuman Animal rights media are mostly white, female, and thin.
Paper Session 276 Elizabeth Cherry, Organizer
Ideology, Subjectivity and Mind in Animal Models and Infant Research: A Critical Discourse Analysis
Jessica Bell, Michigan State University
Juxtaposing nonhuman animal and human infant research reveals how methodological ideologies and presuppositions about mind and behavior in nonverbal subjects are impacted by the species of the experimental subject. This paper uses Critical Discourse Analysis to analyze a sample of influential scientific articles (N=40) published between 1959 and 2011 on four experimental paradigms: a) a rhesus monkey model of attachment, b) a canine model of learned helplessness, c) a rodent model of pro-social behavior, and d) human infant eye-tracking studies. Analyses reveal differences between the animal and infant paradigms in a) representations of subjectivity, b) assumptions about the origin of behavior and the relationship between mind and behavior, and c) descriptions of mental states. Infants are represented as linguistic subjects but in animal paradigms behaviors, effects, or brain regions are the subjects. Infants are described as producing behavior whereas behavior is assumed to be produced in animals. Mind and behavior are seen as inextricably linked in infants yet discrete categories in animals. The animal (but not the infant) paradigms alternate between absolute ("depression") and qualified ("depression-like") descriptions of mental states. This problematizes the application of mental states to animals while simultaneously relying on mentalistic language to justify the experimental paradigm. I argue that comparisons of animal and infant research reveal latent ideologies of functionalism, humanism and speciesism and illustrate the falsity of the claim that scientific examinations of animal mind employ theoretically neutral methodologies and language.
Only Natural: Families and the Social Construction of Gender in a City Zoo
Betsie Garner and David Grazian, University of Pennsylvania
Although accomplishments of human behavior, masculinity and femininity appear natural because gendered individuals adhere to an institutionalized set of myths they learn through everyday forms of socialization in their formative years. In this paper we rely on approximately 100 hours of public observation at three city zoos to examine this context as a site where parents participate in gender socialization. We argue that as family-oriented cultural attractions, zoos and their animal displays provide families with symbolic resources for "naturalizing" masculine and feminine gender roles. It is in this context that parents draw on perceptions of the natural living world in general and anthropomorphic interpretations of nonhuman animals in particular as models for constructing ideologies of natural gender difference. We will conceptualize three processes by which families make use of the zoo's symbolic resources to construct cultures of gender difference. First, families gender zoo animals by projecting notions of womanhood/girlhood and manhood/boyhood onto them. Second, family members use zoo exhibits as props in their own performances of gender. Third, parents at the zoo discipline their sons and daughters differently such that boys and girls are expected to behave in gendered ways.
Social Disorganization in Slaughterhouse Communities
Jessica Racine Jacques, University of Central Florida
Scholars in animal studies and criminology have argued that more attention should be paid to the violence sanctioned by society, that of animal slaughter for industrial food production. Slaughterhouses and the communities surrounding these facilities present ideal sites for investigating how the violence of animal slaughter work impacts individuals and society. The main research questions addressed in this study is whether or not the presence of a slaughterhouse in a rural community has an effect on violent crime arrest rates and what impact these facilities have on social disorganization in the community. Previous research on slaughterhouse communities has established a correlation between slaughterhouse employment and violent crime. This paper seeks to examine the relationship between the presence of a slaughterhouse in the community and violent crime rates. Findings indicate that the location of a slaughterhouse in a county is associated with increases in the total arrest rate, arrests for rape, and arrests for offenses against the family in comparison to counties without a slaughterhouse, pointing to a relationship between the violence of killing animals and violence towards humans.
Animals and Society Roundtable Sessions 317, Table 1,
Ivy Collier, Ocean Conservancy, Session Organizer
Animal Advocacy and Vivisection: The Long Road to Institutionalization
Erin Evans, University of California, Irvine
Viewing Nimrod from the Pew: A Study of the Views of North American Churchgoers on Hunting
Stephanie Medley-Rath, Lake Land College; Lisa M. Lepard, Georgia State University
Something to See Here: Looking at Road-Killing and Road-Killed Animals
Stephen Partick Vrla, Michigan State University
Animals and Society Roundtable Sessions 317, Table 2,
Jennifer Sinski, University of Louisville, Session Organizer
A Fractured Bond: Exploring the Presence of Animals in Unconventional Mass Media Coverage
Cameron Whitley, Melanie Bowers, Michigan State University
The US is currently experiencing an energy boom in the form of unconventional development (high volume horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) (also known as HVHHF). Scholars have documented an array of risks posed to animal populations through conventional and alternative energy developments. While the risks posed to animal populations from unconventional development is less understood, it is likely that animals will shoulder the greatest risk. However, an application of the Treadmill of Production theory leads us to believe that an industrial and national focus on expansion will limit the recognition of the animal other in this discourse. The current study seeks to assess if and how animals are being positioned in mass media coverage of HVHHF. To do this, I have collected and analyzed 1000+ national stories on HVHHF. Preliminary findings indicate that animals are rarely mentioned. However, when they are mentioned they become indicators of contamination and human exposure.
Ethical Review, Empirical Work and Veganism
Kay Peggs, Barry Smart, Joseph Burriedge, University of Portsmouth
Science, She-Wolves and Silence: A Feminist Political Ecology Approach to Evaluating Wolf Management
Christina Leshko, Michigan State University
The Metabolic Rift snd Nature-Based Tourism: An Analysis of the Human-Shark Crisis in Capitalist Production
Meghan Elizabeth Charters, Michigan State University
In this article, I develop a theoretical foundation for understanding the human influence on the oceans and the resulting human-shark crisis as it relates to shark exploitation. Drawing on environmental sociology, I study the nature-society dialectic concerning human interactions with the ocean for the experience of viewing sharks in their natural habitat. I extend Foster's concept of the metabolic rift to marine, nature-based tourism [shark cage diving] to (a) explore contentious human transformations of the sharks' natural network, (b) examine the anthropogenic causes of shark exploitation, and (c)reveal the ecological consequences of ongoing capitalist production linked to marine,nature-based tourism.
Mentoring Session for Students with Faculty
The invitation read:
Dear graduate student members of the Animals & Society section of ASA: We are organizing a mentoring program to help graduate students meet and network with well-established authors outside their home institution who share their interest in Animals & Society! We have recruited 10 well-known scholars to serve as mentors at this year’s ASA meeting, and we will be hosting a “mentoring brunch” on Monday, August 18th in San Francisco. Space is limited to 10 mentees and is first-come-first-served so reserve your space today! The mentoring brunch will be held at a vegan restaurant near the conference hotels. We are asking participating faculty to partially subsidize graduate student lunches, so the cost will be $20 for faculty and $10 for graduate students. This is a unique opportunity for scholars interested in the study of animals and society, and we hope you will consider participating. Please contact us if you have any questions, and please fill out the attached form and submit it to us no later than June 15 if you would like to participate in the program. Remember, space is limited, so don’t delay! Last but not least, this opportunity is only available to members of the ASA section on Animals & Society. If you are not currently a member, we hope you will join the section. The dues for the section are $10. You can join ASA and the section by going to http://www.asanet.org/members/joinasa/cfm . Best, Liz Cherry (current Chair) and Colter Ellis (Chair-Elect)
San Francisco Street
Boarding the computer-guided tour
Sociologists on the march!
Holding on to the past
Driving off into the future...