Dog Politics: Species Stories in the Animal Sciences.

Motamedi-Fraser, Mariam. 2024. Dog Politics: Species Stories in the Animal Sciences. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 9781526174802 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Everywhere dogs are found, they are stitched into human hearts. But are humans stitched into theirs? Countless celebrations of 'the dog-human bond' suggest that they are. Yet 'the bond' does not always come easily to dogs. Dog politics seeks to denaturalise, in different ways, dogs' 'species story,' the scientific story that claims that being with humans somehow constitutes dogs' evolutionary destiny. This book asks what evidence exists for this story, what choices dogs have but to go along with it, and what expectations, demands, and burdens it places on dogs, on a daily basis. In doing so, it offers an unfamiliar and discomforting account of the lives of domesticated dogs today.

As well as offering a rich empirical analysis of conceptions of dogs in science, Dog politics uses dogs’ species story as the prism through which to refract a number of topics of contemporary significance. These include: how the relations between animal behaviours and species identities are established in theory and in practice; how the histories of concepts of ‘race’ and of species overlap and differ over time, with enduring implications today; and how the reification and exploitation of dogs' perceived relationality with humans can potentially transform an ethics of engagement into a hostile politics. Above all, Dog politics shows how species stories erase the singular animal as a figure of theoretical, methodological, ethical and political value.

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Dogs, species, individuals, race, ethology, behaviour, entanglement, relationality

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30 January 2024

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Date Deposited:

14 Nov 2023 13:16

Last Modified:

09 Feb 2024 17:30


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