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The Gaze Of Animals

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Chapter Summary

Sociology has, until recently, denied any possibility that human interaction with non-human animals could ever be considered social which has led to a "sociology as if nature did not matter". In order to fully contribute to the emancipation of animals, sociologists must first address the very epistemic foundations of the discipline. This means re-addressing social theory on the broadest of levels. One way of investigating the 'social' world which may offer some insight is that of actor-network theory (ANT). Animal liberation and animal rights are issues which are commonly seen as occupying an entirely different epistemological and ontological space than human rights which, ironically, ignores the fact that we are all—human and nonhuman—animals. Two of the knottier problems with the approach the author advocating in this chapter are questions of morals and ethics.

Keywords:actor-network theory (ANT); animals; emancipation; sociology



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