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Can Sociology Contribute To The Emancipation Of Animals?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates the ways in which the centaur metaphor conveys the transformative and generative nature of the rider-horse relationship. In so doing, it suggests that there is an inherent centaurability in the rider-horse relationship. To discuss these generative and transformative dimensions of the human-horse relationship and the centaur metaphor, the chapter engages with a broad literature spanning human-automobile relations, performativity, phenomenology and actor-network theory. Following a theoretical contextualization, it illustrates the centaur metaphor ethnographically by discussing the centaur-in-action in the Spanish bullfight. The chapter considers not only the human-horse-bull relationships in the Spanish bullfight, but also the ways in which they are mediated by technology. It therefore also discusses the ways in which saddlery, protective wear, blades and barbs affect the rider-horse relationship in the bullfight from horseback.

Keywords:actor-network theory; centaur metaphor; rider-horse relationship; Spanish bullfight



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