Arnold Arluke

Arnold Arluke
Northeastern University | NEU · Department of Sociology and Anthropology

PhD NYU

About

157
Publications
128,237
Reads
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2,920
Citations
Introduction
Arnie Arluke is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Northeastern University. His research focuses on human-animal relations, social psychology, and visual studies. Arluke currently is studying how social class affects the acquisition of dogs. His most recent book, Underdogs (U. Georgia Press), examines why pet owners in underserved communities underutilize low or no-cost veterinary services.
Additional affiliations
January 1996 - present
Tufts University
Position
  • Senior Scholar
January 1978 - August 2021
Northeastern University
Position
  • Professor Emeritus

Publications

Publications (157)
Article
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To what extent, if at all, do low-income owners of dogs and/or cats worry about running out of pet food before being able to buy more? If this insecurity exists among these pet owners, what contributes to it besides the inability to afford pet food? And whatever the sources of pet food insecurity, how do owners cope with it? A non-random, snowball...
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Underdogs (University of Georgia Press) isa new book describing the challenges faced by people and their pets in low-income communities. As sheltering resources have grown in the US over the past forty to fifty years (tripling and quadrupling in inflation-adjusted dollars), there are many more programs helping pet owners in low-income communities t...
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Researchers have extensively studied the tendency of certain violent criminals to hurt or torture animals, primarily focusing on domestic abusers and serial killers. However, little is known about the extent or nature of prior animal abuse among active shooters and public mass shooters. Public mass and active shooters essentially represent a single...
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This article examines the accuracy and rhetoric of reports by human health care professionals concerning dog bite injuries published in the peer-reviewed medical literature, with respect to nonclinical issues, such as dog behavior. A qualitative content analysis examined 156 publications between 1966 and 2015 identified by terms such as “dog bite”...
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Animal hoarding is one of the most widespread, severe and complex forms of animal cruelty. This chapter examines why hoarding is a serious human and animal welfare issue that affects thousands of people and hundreds of thousands of animals. Various models are explored for the development and expression of this behaviour, including psychological, so...
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This chapter highlights the ambiguity surrounding the meaning and significance of animal cruelty and the ambivalence that characterises our treatment of animals. The contradictions in how we regard animals seem greatest when we look at our varied relationships with companion animals, ranging from complete devotion to indifference. The chapter estab...
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This research examines whether people are more emotionally disturbed by reports of non-human animal than human suffering or abuse. Two hundred and fifty-six undergraduates at a major northeastern university were asked to indicate their degree of empathy for a brutally beaten human adult or child versus an adult dog or puppy, as described in a ficti...
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Ayvalık town is a traditional and urban formation that is of the outcome of centuries of optimization of material use, construction techniques and climate considerations, that the traces of the Greek architecture is seen. In this study, traditional building designs having various typology is evaluated. It is concerned with the layout of the buildin...
Chapter
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Images of flamingos have had a role in American popular culture for nearly 200 years. This chapter explores the symbolic work such images accomplish in American advertising, particularly in reproducing gender ideologies, or individuals’ attitudes about appropriate roles for men and women. We trace the popularity of plastic flamingos in the yard as...
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Den unterschiedlichen Formen „mit Tieren zu denken“ nachzugehen, eröffnet Möglichkeiten, unser grundlegendes Verständnis der sozialen Ordnung und unsere authentischen Einstellungen gegenüber Menschen in den Blick zu bekommen sowie die Instrumentalisierung von Tieren in unserer Gesellschaft zu erkennen. Der Beitrag geht sowohl auf die Ablehnung der...
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Although animal cruelty is often described as a warning sign of future human violence, particularly in the prediction of multiple homicides, prior studies reveal mixed support for this notion and lack conceptual clarity in the measurement of such cruelty. This study investigates the quantity and quality of cruelty present in a sample of 23 perpetra...
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Although animal cruelty is often described as a warning sign of future human violence, particularly in the prediction of multiple homicides, prior studies reveal mixed support for this notion and lack conceptual clarity in the measurement of such cruelty. This study investigates the quantity and quality of cruelty present in a sample of 23 perpetra...
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This study examines the dynamics of the first-time teaching experience of graduate instructors, drawing on interview and focus group data from 35 sociology students in a doctoral program at a large university in the United States. Results indicate the majority of graduate instructors felt a great deal of anxiety due to challenges they faced when te...
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Article
The Photographed Cat presents readers with an examination of how human-cat relationships are depicted in early twentieth-century photography. Examining this relationship from the perspective of the photographer and the human subjects who made or appear in these photographs, Arluke and Rolfe show that the cat photographs are valuable windows into se...
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Research into bystander apathy has focused on the barriers to intervening when the perpetrators and witnesses of violence are strangers. Although violence also occurs in the presence of friends, family, and other close ties, it is unclear how these affiliations constrain the behavior of bystanders in these situations. To explore this question, qual...
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The present study examines how children and adolescents respond when witnessing animal abuse and why many do not intervene to help animal victims. Ethnographic interviews were conducted with 25 late adolescents who witnessed animal abuse months or years earlier. Results were generally consistent with, but not identical to, findings from previous re...
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Currently, case studies and media reports provide the only descriptive information available to understand what distinguishes hoarding of animals from nonhoarding animal ownership. This poorly understood problem appears to be associated with substantial mental health difficulties. The present study investigated characteristics and antecedents that...
Chapter
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Animal-assisted activities (AAA) offer a novel and potentially more effective way to prevent violence because of the unique ability of animals to appeal to children and adolescents, to be highly responsive, and to provide many opportunities for interaction. It provides participants with a variety of animal contacts, ranging from purely spontaneous...
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Although sociology has only recently turned to the study of animals, our society has long recognized their importance, whether asworkers to tow heavy trucks, friends to enjoy and play with, or protein to eat. Human relationships with animals started to change a century ago as technological advances ended our dependence on horses, industrialization...
Article
From fairy tales to photography, nowhere is the complexity of human-animal relationships more apparent than in the creative arts. Art illuminates the nature and significance of animals in modern, Western thought, capturing the complicated union that has long existed between the animal kingdom and us. In Beauty and the Beast, authors Arluke and Bogd...
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Recent findings in anthrozoology – the study of human–animal interactions – shed light on psychological and social aspects of cruelty. Here we briefly discuss four areas that connect animal cruelty and cruelty directed toward humans: (1) voices of perpetrators and their audiences, (2) gender differences in cruelty, (3) cruelty as play, and (4) the...
Book
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Book
Psychiatrists define cruelty to animals as a psychological problem or personality disorder. Legally, animal cruelty is described by a list of behaviors. In Just a Dog, Arnold Arluke argues that our current constructs of animal cruelty are decontextualized-imposed without regard to the experience of the groups committing the act. Yet those who engag...
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Press reports frequently characterize animal hoarders as bad, mad, or sad people. This descriptive study identifies the accounts hoarders use to neutralize these negative portrayals. A total of 163 articles representing 118 hoarding cases between 2000 to 20003 were content-analyzed. Findings indicate that hoarders employ a variety of justifications...
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Though they have not tended to be the focus of sociological attention in the past, interactions between humans and nonhuman animals are central to contemporary social life. This discussion presents the problems inherent in and the unique rewards offered by investigations of animal-human relationships. Of particular importance are the issues of whet...
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The present study examined how strong humane inclinations in children are shaped and encouraged through interactions with human and nonhuman animals. Ethnographic interviews were conducted with 30 supernurturing children and 30 parents attending a pre-veterinary summer camp operated by an American university. Themes associated with supernurturance...
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Three questions are explored regarding ethnozoology’s place in sociology. First, why has sociology been slow to explore this subject or to give it much credibility? Resistance by sociologists to ethnozoology is strikingly ironic, given the discipline’s willingness in recent years to consider the plight of virtually every human minority. Although an...
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Le travail sur la frontiere entre les humains et les animaux dans l'Allemagne nazie Arnold Arluke, Clinton R. Sanders L'article traite du statut confere par les nazis aux animaux. Il rappelle tout d'abord l'etendue des mesures de protection des animaux adoptees sous l'Allemagne nazie : reglementation des conditions d'abattage, lutte globale contre...
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Animal abuse by children is generally regarded as an impulsive psychological act without instrumental benefit. This research takes a sociological approach to the topic, exploring the deliberate harm of animals as a particular kind of unsavory or dirty play that is part of adolescent socialization. Interviews were conducted with twenty-five college...
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This article explores how the press reports nonhuman animal hoarding and hoarders. It discusses how 100 articles from 1995 to the present were content analyzed. Analysis revealed five emotional themes that include drama, revulsion, sympathy, indignation, and humor. While these themes draw readers' attention and make disparate facts behind cases und...
Article
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Animal hoarding is a poorly understood phenomenon, the public health implications of which are not well documented. In this study, professionals dealing with hoarding cases submitted 71 case report forms. The hoarders' residences were characterized by extreme clutter and poor sanitation that impaired ability to maintain functional households. Appli...
Article
Full-text available
Animal hoarding is a poorly understood phenomenon, the public health implications of which are not well documented. In this study, professionals dealing with hoarding cases submitted 71 case report forms. The hoarders' residences were characterized by extreme clutter and poor sanitation that impaired ability to maintain functional households. Appli...
Article
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Recently, the sheltering community has begun to reevaluate its adoption policies and the attitudes that shelter workers have towards adopters. Some shelters are now implementing what have been termed “open” adoptions as a way of increasing the number of animals adopted into good homes, moving away from more “traditional,” protective approaches. Bas...
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Ethnographic interviews were conducted with 28 pit bull "owners" to explore the sociological experience of having a dog with a negative image. Results indicate that the vast majority of respondents felt that these dogs were stigmatized because of their breed. Respondents made this conclusion because friends, family, and strangers were apprehensive...
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Results from this study challenge the assumption that animal abusers commonly “graduate” from violence against animals to violence against humans. The criminal records of 153 animal abusers and 153 control participants were tracked and compared. Animal abusers were more likely than control participants to be interpersonally violent, but they also w...
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Four aspects of animal experimentation cause uneasiness among many animal laboratory technicians. First, if technicians form strong attachments to lab animals, they feel conflict between their nurturing and the experimental manipulations they perform. Most technicians learn to curtail these attachments. Second, the "sacrifice" of lab animals become...
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This article examines how shelter workers and individuals who surrender their companion animals to shelters manage guilt about killing previously valued animals. Researchers used an ethnographic approach that entailed open-ended interviews and directobservations of workers and surrenderers in a major, metropolitan shelter. Both workers and surrende...
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The intention of this research was not to justify the relinquishment of pets to shelters, but to provide a detailed and impartial view of the relinquisher's perspective. This perspective, as revealed in 38 interviews, was contrary to the view of relinquishment that commonly prevails in shelter cultures; namely, that their decisions are trivial or c...
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Based on fieldwork in sixth-grade science classes, this article looks at how students managed the dissection of fetal pigs. Although most students were initially ambivalent and squeamish about dissecting, they learned to transform the animal and the situation into one that was not only neutral but positive. By transforming their contact with the fe...
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This article describes the nature of animal abuse and the response of the criminal justice system to all cruelty cases prosecuted by the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals between 1975 and 1996. Dogs were the most common target; when combined with cats, these domestic animals composed the vast majority of incidents. Almost a...
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Discusses the meanings 1st yr medical students attribute to their experimentation on and killing of dogs. 41 21–30 yr olds were interviewed pre and post physiology lab where live, anesthetized dogs were drug injected, surgically manipulated, then killed. Before lab, there was widespread uneasiness among Ss regarding the moral implications of their...
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The lab animal's significance and meaning are at the heart of the experimental method in modern biomedical research. Sociologists, however, have been remiss in studying how these animals are socially constructed within the scientific community as well as by industries, such as animal breeders, that support such research. Inspection of the advertise...

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Projects (4)
Archived project
This research examines whether people are more emotionally disturbed by reports of animal than human suffering or abuse. Two hundred and fifty six undergraduates at a major northeastern university were asked to indicate their degree of empathy for either a brutally beaten human adult or child versus an adult dog or puppy, as described in a fictitious news report. In a 2 (dog versus human) X 2 (infant or puppy versus adult) factorial experimental design, participants responded to one of four vignettes on a scale designed to assess their degree of empathy. We hypothesized that the vulnerability of victims—determined by their age and not species—would determine participants’ level of distress and concern for them. However, results revealed a more complicated picture. The main effect for age but not for species was significant. In a significant interaction effect, moreover, we found more empathy for victims who are human children, puppies, and fully-grown dogs than for victims who are adult humans. In other words, age makes a difference for empathy toward human victims, but not for dog victims. We also found that female participants were significantly more empathic toward victims—either human or animal—than were their male counterparts.
Project
This research examines reports by human health care professionals (HHCPs) of dog bite injuries in the peer-reviewed medical literature. Although usually focused on clinical issues such as the management of wounds, these reports often delve into discussions that are not strictly clinical, such as the nature of dog behavior. Discussions by HHCPs about dog behavior, or what might cause dogs to bite, invite inaccuracies when they exceed the training and competence of these authors. It is important to assess the accuracy of these general observations because they emanate from presumed experts, an elite whose discourse can significantly influence how other professionals and the laity alike think and act toward dogs, as well as decide on public and private policy toward them.
Project
Non-human animals often appear in Edward Gorey's artwork and personal collection. This project will examine the nature and significance of these animals as symbols, metaphors, and allegories.