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Animals, Agency, And Absence: A Discourse Analysis Of Institutional Animal Care And Use Committee Meetings

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Chapter Summary

Discourse analysis, as method, is used to ferret out coded terms and phrases that signify something-else that is going on during an exchange. This chapter draws on de Saussure's linguistic theory and the theories of Barthes who argues all cultural forms can be analyzed as if they were language, Derrida who states meaning is unstable, and Foucault who sees the connection between meaning, power, and agency. The institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) reviews applications to use animals, may suggest or require modifications and votes to approve or deny permission for the activities requested in an application. When laws or regulations are violated, the committee is charged with taking corrective action, determining disciplinary response, if any, and reporting the incidents to the appropriate agencies. The chapter also explores the role of language in constructing social and cultural realities as well as the psychological processes that motivate such constructions.

Keywords: de Saussure's linguistic theory; discourse analysis; institutional animal care and use committee



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