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Lecture 5. Kinship with animals

It is often said that pets are part of the family. In this lecture we shall focus on the past and present of pet keeping, looking at the emotional bonds that exist between pets and people and the implications for animals of being family members. Is it the case that affection towards pets involves relations of domination? Is anthropomorphism an unavoidable element in human-pet animal relationships? Are pets sometimes human, sometimes animal?

Essential reading
Fox, R (2008) ‘Animal behaviours, post-human lives: everyday negotiations of the animal-human divide in pet-keeping’ in Social & Cultural Geography, 7 (4): 525-537 [Available here through Warwick Library]

Serpell, J (2005) People in disguise: Anthropomorphism and the human-pet relationship’ in L Daston and G Mitman (eds) Thinking with animals: new perspective on anthropomorphism, New York: Columbia University Press [available here when you login]

Tuan, Y (2007) ‘Animal pets: cruelty and affection’ in Kalof, L and Fitzgerald, A (eds) The animals reader, Oxford: Berg, Section 3, 16 [available here when you login]

Additional reading
Alger, J and Alger, S (2003) Cat culture: the social world of a cat shelter, Philadelphia: Temple University Press
Animal Studies Group (2006) Killing Animals, Urbana: University of Illinois Press
Arluke, A and Sanders, C R (1996) Regarding animals, Philadelphia: Temple University Press
Arluke, A (2006) Just a dog: understanding animal cruelty and ourselves, Philadelphia: Temple University Press
Ascione, F. R., Weber, C. W. And Wood, D. S. (1997) ‘The abuse of animals and domestic violence: A national survey of shelters for women who are battered’ Society and Animals 5(3): 205-218
Ascione, F and Arkow, P (eds) (1999) Child abuse, domestic violence and animal abuse: linking the circles of compassion for prevention and intervention, West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press
Beck, A and Katcher, A H (1996) Between pets and people, West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue University Press
Budiansky, S (2002) The truth about dogs, London: Phoenix
Charles N and Davies CA (2008) ‘My family and other animals: pets as kin’, Sociological Research Online, 13 (5), and in B. Carter and N. Charles (eds) Human and other animals: critical perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan
Davis, S and DeMello, M (2003) Stories rabbits tell: a natural and cultural history of a misunderstood creature, New York: Lantern Books
Dekkers, M (1994) Dearest Pet: On bestiality, London: Virago
Francione, G L (1995) Animals, Property, and the Law, Philadelphia: Temple University Press
Fudge, E (2008) Pets, Acumen
Grier, K C (2005) Pets in America, Harvest Books
Irvine, L (2004) If you tame me: understanding our connections with animals, Philadelphia: Temple University Press
Kete, K (1995) The beast in the boudoir: petkeeping in nineteenth-century Paris, Berkeley: University of California Press
Lawrence, E (1985) Hoofbeats and society, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press
Lockwood, R and Ascione, F (1998) Cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence, West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue University Press
MacGregor, A (2012) Animal Encounters: Human and Animal Interaction in Britain from the Norman Conquest to World War I (Reaktion)
Manning, A and Serpell, J. (1994) Animals and Human Society. London:Routledge
McHugh, S (2004) Dog Reaktion
Podberscek, A L et al (eds) (2005) Companion animals and us: exploring the relationships between people and pets, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Ritvo, H (2008) ‘The emergence of modern pet keeping’ in Flynn, C P (ed) Social Creatures, New York: Lantern Books, pp. 96-106
Rogers, K M (2006) Cat Reaktion
Sanders, C R (1999) Understanding dogs: living and working with canine companions, Philadelphia: Temple University Press
Shaffner, J E (2010) An introduction to animals and the law, Palgrave Macmillan
Serpell, J (1986) In the company of animals, Oxford: Basil Blackwell
Serpell, J (2005) People in disguise: Anthropomorphism and the human-pet relationship’ in L Daston and G Mitman (eds) Thinking with animals: new perspective on anthropomorphism, New York: Columbia University Press
Smith, J A (2003) ‘Beyond dominance and affection: living with rabbits in post-humanist households’ in Society and Animals, 11 (2): 181-97
Tipper, B (2011) ‘Pets and personal life’ in V May (ed) Sociology of personal life, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 85-97
Tipper, B (2011) ‘“A dog who I know quite well”: everyday relationships between children and animals’ in Children’s Geographies, 9 (2): 145-165
Tuan, Yi-Fu (1984) Dominance and affection: the making of pets, New Haven: Yale University Press
Taylor, N. and Signal, T. (2008) ‘Throwing the Baby out with the Bathwater: Towards a Sociology of the Human-Animal Abuse 'Link'?’ in Sociological Research Online 13(1)2 <>