The animal challenge to sociology

European Journal of Social Theory 21 (1):79-97 (2018)
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Abstract

In this article, we ask why is it that sociology has been slow to take up the animal challenge, and ask what would happen if it did. We argue that sociology’s fraught relationship with biology, its assumptions about human exceptionalism and its emergence in the context of industrialization and urbanization are key to understanding its lack of attention to animals and contribute to a limited conceptualization of society. This can be remedied by viewing non-human animals as involuntarily embedded in social relationships, a move which involves a redefinition of the social and of what it means to be human; a revision of notions of agency, subjectivity and reflexivity; and a rejection of the speciesism and anthropocentrism on which sociology is based. Finally, the article contends that a full understanding of society is not possible if we continue to direct the sociology gaze only at humans.

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References found in this work

We Have Never Been Modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
The posthuman.Rosi Braidotti - 2013 - Malden, MA, USA: Polity Press.
Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity.Ulrich Beck, Mark Ritter & Jennifer Brown - 1993 - Environmental Values 2 (4):367-368.

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