Teaching and Learning Guide for: Animals and Sociology

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Non‐human animals constitute an integral part of human society. They figure heavily in our language, food, clothing, family structure, economy, education, entertainment, science, and recreation. The many ways we use animals produce ambivalent and contradictory attitudes toward them. We treat some species of animals as friends and family members (e.g., dogs and cats), while we treat others as commodities (e.g., cows, pigs, and chickens). Our constructions of animals and the moral and legal status we grant them provide rich topics for sociological study.

This teaching and learning guide can serve as a resource for those who want to learn more about the field or for those preparing to teach a course on animals and society. The materials have the common theme of examining animals within the context of larger social issues. The guide begins with an annotated list of major works in the area. It then lists useful online resources. Finally, it provides a sample syllabus, concluding with ideas for course projects and assignments.