'Rethinking Cruelty'. Review of Just a Dog: understanding animal cruelty and ourselves, Arnold Arluke

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2008. 'Rethinking Cruelty'. Review of Just a Dog: understanding animal cruelty and ourselves, Arnold Arluke. Current Anthropology, 49(4), pp. 757-758. ISSN 00113204 [Article]

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In the introduction to Just a Dog Arnold Arluke provides a methodological blueprint for those who wish to move the study of human‐animal relationships from the margins of social enquiry to the center. In Just a Dog he has produced a nonsensational rendering of a difficult and complex subject that deserves to be read by all students of these relationships. Arluke’s subject—cruelty to animals—is emotive and difficult. He approaches it with sensitivity and a determination to avoid reproducing the existing arguments that uncritically relate cruelty to animals to violence between people. He is interested not in providing a single meaning and explanation for this cruelty but in destabilizing the idea that this concept could have the same meaning and life‐changing effects for all of the disparate groups it touches in different ways. The basis of his argument comes from a large amount of primary material gathered using participant observation and a thorough review of existing secondary data. The advantage of this approach is that it replaces the thoughts of people who do not abuse animals about people who do with the thoughts and actions of the abusers themselves.

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August 2008Published

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15 Jun 2015 15:51

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16 Jun 2017 10:51

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