Animals, Agency and Resistance

Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (3):322-340 (2013)
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In this paper we develop a relational approach to the question of animal agency. We distinguish between agency and action and, using three examples of non-human animal behaviour, explore how human-other animal interactions might be understood in terms of action, agency and resistance. In order to do this we draw on the distinction between primary and corporate agency found in the work of Margaret Archer, arguing that, while non-human animals are able to act and to exercise primary agency, they are unable to exercise corporate agency. Animals are therefore agents; they act and their actions have consequences, they also resist conditions which they do not like and, in some circumstances, are able to change the conditions of their agency. We discuss the place of animals in the social world and the political implications of this way of viewing animal agency



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Citations of this work

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References found in this work

Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things.Jane Bennett - 2010 - Durham: Duke University Press.
When Species Meet.Donna Jeanne Haraway - 2007 - Univ of Minnesota Press.
Politics of nature: how to bring the sciences into democracy.Bruno Latour - 2004 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Being human: the problem of agency.Margaret Scotford Archer - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Animals and why they matter.Mary Midgley - 1983 - Athens: University of Georgia Press.

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