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Tracey Smith-Harris's Syllabus on Animals and People Animals

Animals & Society

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Animals and Society Syllabi

Tracey Smith-Harris

Animals & People

AN/S 358

FW 2002-2003

 Department of Anthropology & Sociology

University College of Cape Breton


Course Descriptions & Objectives

The disciplines of anthropology and sociology allow us the unique opportunity to study human attitudes and treatment of other animals in a holistic and interdisciplinary fashion.  Until very recently however, social scientists in general, and sociologists in particular, have neglected the study of animals.  There has been a reluctance to see animals as an important part of human societies.  Their presence however becomes difficult to ignore when we consider the magnitude of animal representations, symbols, stories and their actual physical presence in human societies and cultures.  Even though animals can be found in every area of human life, they often remain marginal or invisible.  This course will bring the study of animals and people to the forefront by offering a critical and comparative examination of the relationships between humans and other animals.  We will examine a variety of topics, such as animal representations in literature and popular culture, as well as the social and cultural constructions of legal, political, economic and philosophical issues pertaining to animals.  Much of this course will focus on the controversies surrounding these complex social relationships.


Course Aims & Content

The aim of this course is to encourage students to develop an in-depth critical analysis of the relationships between humans and other animals, thereby encouraging students to develop an understanding of the complexities and controversies involved.  A variety of learning strategies – lectures, seminar participation, films, group work and class presentations – will all be utilized.  To ensure that students gain a familiarity with important concepts related to the topic areas, first term will have a reliance on lectures, films and group discussions.  The topic areas for first term are as follows: 1) anthropological and sociological perspectives on animals; 2) animal representations in literature and in the media; 3) societal and cultural attitudes towards animals (including the moral standing of animals and animal issues in human politics and law); 4) domestication; and 5) companion animals.  Second term will focus on many of the controversies involved in the human use of other animals.  We will examine the following areas: 1) animals in food industries; 2) the use of animals in science; 3) companion animal abuse and neglect; 4) animals as entertainment; and 5) issues pertaining to animals in the wild. Each student will research a controversy of their choice, presenting the topic in class and handing in a companion paper on the topic at the end of term.


Course Evaluation

·  Mid-term test (October - worth 10%)

·  Proposal on research topic (end of November - worth 10%) 

·  December exam (worth 20%)

·  Mid-term test (February – 10%)

·  Presentation (in second term - on topic of research paper - worth 10%)

·  Research paper (due early April - worth 25%)

·  Class Attendance & Participation (worth 15%)


Course Texts and Readings 

  1. Arluke, Arnold and Clinton R. Sanders.  1996.  Regarding Animals.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press.  Available for purchase from the bookstore.

2. Course Kit.  Available for purchase from the bookstore.

  1. Reserve readings. Some reading material has been placed on reserve at the Circulation Desk of the library. Reserve readings are on 2-hour loan, to allow all students the opportunity to borrow and read the material.
  2. On-line material.  The journal Society & Animals has an on-line journal that may be accessed free of charge.  Several readings for the course come from this resource (The web address is
  3. Class handouts.  Occasionally reading material will be distributed in class.


Course Topics and Readings

Please Note: 

I have indicated by each reading on the list whether it is from the text, the course kit, on-line, a class handout, or on reserve in the library.

Term 1 – Topics & Readings

Week 1 – General Introduction – September 11th

Arluke, Arnold and Clinton Sanders.  1996.  “Bringing Animals to the Center.” Regarding Animals. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (Text)

Quammen, David.  2000.  “Who Swims with the Tuna?” The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder, New York: Scribner. (Handout)


Week 2 – Studying Animals – Anthropological and Sociological Perspectives – September 18th

Arluke, Arnold and Clinton Sanders.  1996. “The Human Point of View” and “Learning from Animals.”  Regarding Animals.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press.  (Text)

Cunningham, Paul F.  1995.  “Topics Awaiting Study: Investigable Questions on Animal Issues.”  Society & Animals, Vol. 3, No. 1. (Handout)

Noske, Barbara.  1992.  “Deconstructing the Animals Image: Toward an Anthropology of Animals.”  Anthrozoos, Vol. 5, No. 4. (Handout)


Week 3 – Representations of Animals – September 25th

Johnson, Kathleen R. 1996. “The Ambiguous Terrain of Pet keeping in

Children’s Realistic Animal Stories.”  Society and Animals, Vol. 4, No. 1. (Course Kit)

McCrindle, Cheryl and Johannes Odendaal. 1994. “Animals in books Used for Preschool Children,” Anthrozoos, Vol. 7, No. 2. (Course Kit)

Cartmill, Matt.  1993.  “The Bambi Syndrome.” A View to a Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature through History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. (Course Kit)


Week 4 & 5 – Societal/Cultural Attitudes towards Animals – The Moral Standing of Animals – October 2nd & 9th

Birke, Lynda and Mike Michael.  1995.  “Raising the Profile of Welfare: Scientists and their use of Animals.” Anthrozoos, Vol. 8, No. 2. (Course Kit)

Nibert, David A.  1994.  “Animal Rights and Human Social Issues.”  Society & Animals, Vol. 2, No. 2.  (Reserve or on-line version of journal available at

Rogers, Lesley, J.  1995. “They are Only Animals.” Reinventing Biology: Respect for Life and the Creation of Knowledge.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press. (Course Kit)

Ryder, Richard D.  “Introduction.”  Animal Revolution: Changing Attitudes towards Speciesism.  Oxford: Basil Blackwell.  (Reserve)

Singer, Peter.  1990.  “All Animals are Equal…” Animal Liberation: Revised and Updated. New York: Avon Books. (Course Kit)


Week 6 & 7– Societal/Cultural Attitudes towards Animals - Animal issues in Human Politics and Law – October 16th & 23rd

Arluke, Arnold and Clinton Sanders. 1996. “Boundary Work in Nazi Germany.” Regarding Animals. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (Text)

Beirnes, Piers. 1994.  “The Law is an Ass: reading E.P. Evans’ The Medieval Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals.” Society and Animals, Vol.2, No. 1. (Course Kit)

Jasper, James M.  “The American Animal Rights Movement.”  Animal Rights: The Changing Debate.  New York: New York University Press.  (Reserve)

Kellert, Steven. 1994.  “Attitudes, Knowledge and Behavior toward Wildlife among the Industrial Superpowers.” Animals and Human Society.  New York: Routledge. (Course Kit)

Wise, Steven M. 2000.  “The Legal Thinghood of Nonhuman Animals.” Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals.  Cambridge: Perseus Publishing. (Course Kit)


Week 8 & 9– Domestication – General Overview – October  30th & November 6th

Budiansky, Stephen.  1992.  “Visions of Nature.” The Covenant of the Wild: Why Animals Chose Domestication.  New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. (Course Kit)

Mason, Jim.  1993. “Dominionism Identified.”  An Unnatural Order: Uncovering the Roots of Our Domination of Nature and each Other.  New York: Simon and Schuster. (Course Kit)

Noske, Barbara.  1997.  “Domestication Under Capitalism.”  Beyond Boundaries: Humans and Animals.  Montreal: Black Rose Books. (Course Kit)

Plous, S. 1993. “The Role of Animals in Human Society.” Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 49, No. 1. (Course Kit)

Tuan, Yi-Fu. 1987. “Power and Dominance.” Dominance and Affection: The Making of Pets.  New Haven: Yale University Press. (Course Kit)


Week 10 & 11– Domestication – Pets as Family – November 13th & 20th

Arluke, Arnold and Clinton Sanders. 1996. “Speaking for Dogs.” Regarding Animals.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (Text)

Morrow, Virginia. 1998.  “My Animals and other Family: Children’s perspectives on their relationships with companion animals.” Anthrozoos, Vol. 11, No. 4. (Course Kit)

Ritvo, Harriet. 1986.  “The Emergence of Modern Pet-Keeping.” Anthrozoos, Vol. 1, No. 3. (Course Kit)

Sanders, Clinton. 1994.  “Biting the Hand that Heals You: Encounters with Problematic Patients in a General Veterinary Practice.” Society & Animals, Vol. 2, No. 1. (Course Kit)

Serpell, James.  1988.  “Pet-Keeping in Non-Western Societies: Some Popular Misconceptions.” Animals and People Sharing the World.  Hanover: University Press of New England. (Course Kit)


Week 12 – Domestication – Pets – Death, Grieving and Surrendering - November 27th

Arluke, Arnold and Clinton Sanders. 1996. “The Institutional Self of Shelter Workers.” Regarding Animals.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (Text)

Frommer, Stephen and Arnold Arluke. 1999.  “Loving Them to Death: Blame-Displacing Strategies of Animal Shelter Workers and Surrenderers.” Society & Animals, Vol. 7, No. 1. (Course Kit)

Planchon, Lynn and Donald Templer. 1996.  “The Correlates of Grief after the Death of a Pet.” Anthrozoos. Vol. 9, No. 2/3. (Course Kit)

Siegel, Judith M. 1993. “Companion Animals: In Sickness and in Health.”  Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 49, No. 1. (Course Kit)

Term Two – Topics and Readings

Week 1 – Controversies – January 8th

Arluke, Arnold and Clinton Sanders. 1996. “The Sociozoologic Scale.” Regarding Animals. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (Text)


Week 2 & 3 – Animals in the Food Industry – January 15th & 22nd

Franklin, Adrian.  1999.  “Animals and the agricultural industry: From farming to animal protein production” and “Animal foodways.”  Animals & modern cultures: A Sociology of Human-Animal Relations in Modernity.  London: Sage Publications.  (Reserve)

Grandin, Temple. 1988. “Behavior of Slaughter Plant and Auction Employees Toward the Animals.” Anthrozoos, Vol. 1, No. 4.  (Course Kit)


Week 4, 5 & 6 – Animals in Science – January 29th, February 5th & 12th

Arluke, Arnold. 1994. “We Build a Better Beagle: Fantastic Creatures in Lab Animal Ads.” Qualitative Sociology, Vol. 17, No. 2. (Course Kit)

Arluke, Arnold and Clinton Sanders. “Systems of Meaning in Primate Labs.” Regarding Animals.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (Text)

Birke, Lynda. 1994. “Writing the Animal.”  Feminism, Animals and Science: The Naming of the Shrew.  Philadelphia: Open University Press. (Course Kit)

Midgley, Mary. 1989. “Are You an Animal?” Animal Experimentation: The Consensus Changes.  New York: Chapman and Hall. (Course Kit)

Pifer, Linda, Kinya Shimizu and Ralph Pifer. 1994. “Public Attitudes Toward Animal Research: Some International Comparisons.” Society & Animals, Vol. 2, No. 2. (Reserve or on-line version of journal available at

Rowan, Andrew N.  1995.  “Scientists and Animal Research: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?”  Social Research: An International Quarterly of the Social Sciences, Vol. 62, No. 3. (Course Kit)

Week 7 & 8 – Companion Animals – Abuse and Neglect – February 26th & March 5th

Arluke, Arnold and Carter Luke. 1997. “Physical Cruelty Towards Animals in Massachusetts, 1975-1996.” Society & Animals, Vol. 5, No. 3. (Reserve or on-line version of journal available at

Flynn, Clifton P. 2000. “Women’s Best Friend: Pet Abuse and the Role of Companion Animals in the Lives of Battered Women.” Violence Against Women, Vol. 6, No. 2. (Course Kit)

Patronek, Gary J. 1997.  “Issues for Veterinarians in Recognizing and Reporting Animal Neglect and Abuse.” Society & Animals, Vol. 5, No. 3. (Reserve or on-line version of journal available at

Raupp, Carol D. 1999.  “Treasuring, Trashing or Terrorizing: Adult Outcomes of Childhood Socialization with Animals.”  Society & Animals, Vol. 7, No. 2.  (Reserve or on-line version of journal available at

Raupp, Carol D., et al. 1997.  “Perceptions of Family Violence: Are Companion Animals in the Picture.”  Society & Animals, Vol. 5, No. 3. (Course Kit)

Solot, Dorian. 1997. “Untangling the Animal Abuse Web.” Society & Animals, Vol. 5, No. 3. (Reserve or on-line version of journal available at


Week 9 & 10 – Animals as Entertainment – March 12th & 19th

Croke, Vicki. 1997. “Animal Magnetism: Why We Are Attracted to Zoos.” The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos: Past, Present and Future.  New York: Avon Books, Inc. (Reserve)

Evans, Rhonda, et al. 1998. “Dogfighting: Symbolic Expression and Validation of Masculinity.” Sex Roles, Vol. 39. (Course Kit)

Friend, Tad.  1996.  “Cagemates: Why Animals and Humans Can’t Escape Each Other.” Unte Reader.  (Handout)

Orihuela, J. A. and J. Solano. 1995. Some Characteristics of the People who Attend Mexican Rooster (Cock) Fighting Events.” Anthrozoos, Vol. 8, No. 4. (Course Kit)

Preece, Rod and Lorna Chamberlain.  1993.  “Animals in Entertainment: Zoos, Aquaria and Circuses.”  Animal Welfare and Human Values.  Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press.  (Reserve)

Week 11 & 12 – Animals in the Wild – March 26th & April 2nd

Dahles, Heidi. 1987. “Game Killing and Killing Games: An Anthropologist Looking at Hunting in a Modern Society.” Society and Animals, Vol. 1, No. 2. (Reserve or on-line version available at

Foster, Janet. 1998. “Parks, Resources, and the Role of Wildlife.” Working for Wildlife: The Beginning of Preservation in Canada (Second Edition). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (Course Kit)

Gaard, Greta. 1993. “Ecofeminism and Native American Cultures: Pushing the Limits of Cultural Imperialism?” Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (Course Kit)

Lawrence, Elizabeth A.  1990.  “The Tamed Wild: Symbolic Bears in American Culture.”  Dominant Symbols in Popular Culture.  Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press.  (Reserve)

Woods, Michael.  2000. “Fantastic Mr. Fox? Representing animals in the hunting debate.”  Animal spaces, beastly places: new geographies of human-animal relations.  New York: Routledge.  (Course Kit)


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