Nik Taylor

Nik Taylor
University of Canterbury | UC · College of Arts

PhD

About

133
Publications
68,250
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Introduction
(Dr.) Nik Taylor is a critical and public sociologist who has published over 70 articles, books and book chapters. Her research focusses on mechanisms of power and marginalisation expressed in/through human relations with other species and is informed by critical/ intersectional feminism. Nik teaches topics in the sociology program at Flinders University that focus on human-animal violence links; scholar-advocacy; social change, and crime and deviance, particularly domestic violence and animal abuse. You can read more about her work at the Animals in Society Working Group page: https://animalsinsocietygroup.wordpress.com/
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - present
Flinders University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • http://animalsinsocietygroup.wordpress.com/

Publications

Publications (133)
Article
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KEY PRACTITIONER MESSAGES: • There is a well-established link between animal- and human-directed violence. • Reports of animal abuse in child protection referrals may indicate more severe cases of child abuse. • Cross-reporting of abuse is important, both in the context of child protection and animal welfare. KEY WORDS: child protection; animal ab...
Article
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Disasters do not just affect humans. And humans do not only live with, care for or interact with other humans. In this conceptual article, we explain how animals are relevant to green and disaster social work. Power, oppression and politics are our themes. We start the discussion by defining disasters and providing examples of how three categories...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the risks associated with doing feminist, multispecies research within the confines of the neoliberal academy, particularly qualitative research about love and abuse. We highlight both the risks to researchers and opportunities to create alliances that pursue transformative social change. Our central argument is that the neo...
Article
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INTRODUCTION: Based on an understanding of links between human- and animal-directed domestic violence, this article: 1) argues for companion-animal inclusive domestic violence service delivery; and 2) reflects on the challenges this offers to social work and the human services.APPROACH: We start by considering the importance of companion animals in...
Article
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This article has been written for qualitative researchers inclined towards in-person, narrative interviewing with members of groups designated ‘inconvenient’ or ‘hard to reach’, about sensitive or controversial topics. The aim is to critically reflect on narrative research interviewing practices we have undertaken in Australia with (1) women who ha...
Article
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The precarity and violation that has resulted from decades of neoliberal reforms have been made clear in the global COVID19 pandemic, particularly in terms of access to healthcare and financial inequality. However, ideological discourses of individual heroics have been rapidly deployed, to patch-up the damage done to neoliberal rhetoric. In this pa...
Technical Report
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It is increasingly recognised that many humans enjoy close, meaningful relationships with animal companions. Unfortunately, such relationships can make both humans and animals vulnerable to those who might seek to abuse them. To date, a focus on what is known as ‘the link’ between human and animaldirected abuse has focused almost exclusively on het...
Article
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This article explores the intersections of human and animal lives in the context of violence and marginalisation. It draws on two studies, the first involving a sub-sample of 23 open-ended survey responses completed by transgender and non-binary (TNB) people taken from a larger study exploring the intersections of animal- and human-directed violenc...
Article
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This paper explores different conceptions of cruelty and kindness as they relate to the Australian dairy industry. Findings are drawn from the Dairy Farming Wellbeing Project: 2017- 18, which we affectionately call The Cow Project (also see thecowproject.com.au).1 Funded by Animals Australia, this study was designed to consider the many issues affe...
Article
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Extensive literature reveals the many health benefits animal companions can bring to the humans who live with them. However, much of this work has taken place with heterosexual and cisgender populations. To address this gap, we conducted qualitative interviews with 19 trans and cisgender women of diverse sexualities in Australia who reported having...
Chapter
As we explained in the earlier chapters of this book, we are equally concerned about animal and human victims/survivors of domestic violence. This means that just as we pay attention to the impact of domestic violence on humans, we also have to pay attention to its impact on companion animals. In earlier chapters we explored links between how both...
Book
In this book, Nik Taylor and Heather Fraser consider how we might better understand human-animal companionship in the context of domestic violence. The authors advocate an intersectional feminist understanding, drawing on a variety of data from numerous projects they have conducted with people, about their companion animals and links between domest...
Chapter
In this opening chapter we explain why we have focused this book on human and companion animal relationships in the context of domestic violence. We briefly introduce the reader to the projects that we have conducted that we draw on throughout this book to illustrate the potential power of companion animal relationships. We show that for many abuse...
Chapter
Taking centre stage in this chapter are stories about women and companion animals being dominated and abused by ‘loved ones’ and seeking refuge in each other through their own interspecies relationships of empathic love. Close-up examples of abuse are provided from the Loving You, Loving Me study involving nine individual interviews conducted in th...
Chapter
In this chapter we outline the scale of domestic violence including the relatively little that is known about animals’ experiences of it. We acknowledge the complexity of domestic violence, before considering the links between love, loyalty, and abuse. We note that they often coexist for all those—human and animal—experiencing domestic violence. Fo...
Chapter
In this chapter we detail the methods we used for the research that underpins this book. We start by outlining one of our research projects central to much of the data presented in the book Loving You, Loving Me: Companion Animals and Domestic Violence. We then discuss some of the theoretical, methodological, ethical, and personal issues raised for...
Chapter
Escape, refuge, and recovery are the themes of this chapter. We demonstrate how victims/survivors manage to escape domestic violence in their homes and how they try to recover from the violence and rebuild their lives with the support of others. Because participants stressed the importance of housing, we pay attention to their attempts to find alte...
Chapter
In this book we have considered how human-animal companionship in the context of domestic violence might be better understood. Most importantly this has involved advocating for an intersectional feminist understanding of domestic violence inclusive of species concerns. Part of this has involved us arguing for a new iteration of The Link, one that a...
Article
The last few decades have seen rising interest in human relationships with other species. This interest is broadly recognised as the human–animal studies field – a broad, multidisciplinary field that addresses both symbolic and material relationships between humans and other animals (e.g. DeMello, 2012; Taylor, 2013). Acknowledging the need to inco...
Article
Sociologists have contributed to the development of the animal studies field in recent decades. However, many of these ventures have been anthropocentric, stopping short of sociological calls for animal liberation despite the fact that critical sociological concepts are often the (unspoken) antecedents of such work. Here, we present a systematic re...
Article
While the last two decades have witnessed considerable growth in green criminology, the positioning of nonhuman animals within the field remains unclear and contested. This article provides an analysis of green criminological work—published since the 1998 special issue of Theoretical Criminology—that addresses harms and crime perpetrated against no...
Article
Visual methods offer social scientists some promising possibilities for valuing the work of women and animals in domestic homes and formal organizations, such as schools, hospitals, residential care facilities and other workplaces. In this article, we consider how visual methods might be used to ‘put women and animals in the frame’. We draw data an...
Article
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This paper reports on a thematic analysis of open-ended questions about how humans respond to violence directed towards animals in the context of violent human relationships, derived from an Australian-UK survey of people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. From the 137 responses, three major themes were identified (1) Animals are an important...
Article
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A significant body of research in the field of human-animal studies has focused on animals who live alongside humans within the home, with such animals often considered family members. To date, however, this research has focused almost exclusively on the experiences of heterosexual cisgender people, overlooking other diverse genders and/or sexualit...
Article
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Over the past three decades, a growing body of research has focused on experiences of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) among people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. Missing, however, has been a focus on what is known as “the link” between DVA and animal cruelty with regard to people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. The present article...
Article
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Separation from animals with whom children have caring relationships can lead to considerable loss and grief, perhaps especially in the case of migration. This paper reports on a thematic analysis of interviews undertaken with children of migrant or refugee backgrounds who had resettled in Australia. Findings suggest that children who spoke about a...
Article
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Research into the interaction between deliberate harm of animals and potential risk for human directed violence has burgeoned in the past two decades. In light of an underlying premise that attitudes are predictive of behavior, a number of researchers have examined demographic and personality variables that affect attitudes to, and by extrapolation...
Article
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INTRODUCTION: Empathy is associated with engagement, compassion, social support and emotional sensitivity, and it is a hallmark of good social work practice. Empathy rightfully receives much attention in social work practice, however, interspecies empathy has yet to be included. This article has been written to address this gap.METHODS: Two main re...
Conference Paper
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I argue that academic sociologists cannot afford to remain neutral when researching human-animal relations/studies; that they/we must develop a clarity regarding their/our own ethical position which needs to be one aimed at emancipating other animals.
Conference Paper
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In this piece I wrestle with the question of what a sociology of other animals is for. For me, this is tied to a bigger question of what kind of research we do – and how we do it-in the neoliberal university. In my view, we need to develop some clarity (although not uniformity) in purpose about why we, as sociologists, study human relations with ot...
Book
This book argues that qualitative methods, ethnography included, have tended to focus on the human at the cost of understanding humans and animals in relation, and that ethnography should evolve to account for the relationships between humans and other species. Intellectual recognition of this has arrived within the field of human-animal studies an...
Article
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Qualitative methods are important to gain a deep understanding of complex problems and poorly researched areas. They can be particularly useful to help explain underlying conservation problems. However, the significance in choosing and justifying appropriate methodological frameworks in conservation studies should be given more attention to ensure...
Article
Although the role of companion animals within the dynamic of domestic violence (DV) is increasingly recognized, the overlap of animal harm and insurance discrimination for victims/survivors of DV has not been considered. Prompted by a case study presented in a National Link Coalition LINK-Letter, this research note examines “Pet Insurance” policies...
Article
Companion animals play an important role in many human's lives, including many Australian social workers and clients. Yet Australian social work has been slow to address the burgeoning area of human-animal studies. In this embryonic research, we focus on women's close relationships with companion animals and some of the broad implications this has...
Chapter
This chapter explores condoned animal abuse in the slaughterhouse and food production processes. Through a consideration of extant ethnographic research with slaughterhouse workers, the authors assess the ways in which the killing of other animals for meat becomes normalised through various institutional and cultural practices which, in large part,...
Chapter
In the first part of this book, we argued that marginalising nonhuman animals in human–animal studies scholarship is problematic on several fronts. Ignoring animals contributes to their oppression by presupposing and shoring up the ideology of human centrality. Persisting with humanist agendas perpetuates the colonisation of knowledge production to...
Chapter
The previous chapter presented an historical overview of ethnography in order to contextualise our argument that it offers a set of ideas, principles and practical approaches to the study of social life that we think make an ideal starting point for developing new posthuman or multi-species methods. In this chapter, we continue building our argumen...
Chapter
Our previous chapter highlighted the increasing interest in visual methods such as photoethnography, visual elicitation and film, but it would be a mistake to assume that an interest in the other senses of smell, taste, touch and so on have been similarly embraced by qualitative researchers. While visual culture has prompted a whole range of new re...
Chapter
The idea for this book arose some years ago after we had completed our first joint monograph together, Animals at Work (Hamilton & Taylor, 2013). In it, we presented a series of ethnographic vignettes of people working with animals in some capacity or other, from those in caring occupations, such as sanctuary volunteers, to those at the opposite en...
Chapter
Barone and Eisner (1997) have pointed out that visual, auditory and arts-based approaches have become more popular and acceptable within the ethnographic community. At the same time, the range of techniques on offer to ethnographers has vastly expanded, particularly as the use of websites and audio-visual recording devices have become increasingly...
Chapter
In this book, we have argued that social scientists interested in the relational ties that connect humans and animals must attempt to include other species in their work. We have noted that capturing animals’ perspectives can, and probably will, be difficult and sometimes impossible, but that this should not be taken as reason enough to simply omit...
Chapter
This chapter asks: why is ethnography the right approach for studies of the interactions and relations between humans and other animals? Our focus is on ethnography (rather than other qualitative approaches) for two reasons. The first is because it has been infused by a strong liberal and emancipatory agenda which lends itself to critical, boundary...
Chapter
In the previous chapter, we argued that ethnography needs to evolve into an approach that includes other species as significant social actors rather than as objects or materials. We are particularly excited by the prospect of ethnographies that account for the complexities of the relationships between humans and other species, rather than play to t...
Chapter
The emerging field of multiple species research has yet to be firmly or perfectly defined, but in seeking to test out some ideas, the foregoing three chapters explored the potential of several creative tools for approaching the difficult problem of accessing and understanding the interactions between humans and other species, looking at techniques...
Chapter
Writing is ethnographic method-in-practice (Law, 2004) and arguably the most powerful of its world-making tools, shaping and creating the representation of social relations to influence what is known and believed to be true. By translating everyday life from lived experience to words on a page, ethnographers reduce and simplify the world about them...
Article
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Nonhuman carnivores have historically been demonized, lethally controlled, and extirpated throughout many parts of the world—indeed, they bear the brunt of this in some places still today. To understand why this is still occurring, it is important to appreciate the historical events that have shaped and led to this situation. We use a qualitative c...
Article
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The link between domestic violence and animal abuse has now been well established, indicating that where there is one form of abuse, there is often the other. Research on this link, however, has almost exclusively focused on heterosexual cisgender people's relationships. Lacking, then, is an exploration of the possibly unique links between domestic...
Article
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Previous research has consistently found that transgender women experience high levels of domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Yet to date no studies have explored the efficacy of training workshops aimed at increasing the capacity of service providers to meet the needs of transgender women. This paper reports on findings from one such workshop devel...
Article
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Under the remit of an expanded definition of sustainability – one that acknowledges animal agriculture as a key carbon intensive industry, and one that includes interspecies ethics as an integral part of social justice – institutions such as Universities can and should play a role in supporting a wider agenda for sustainable food practices on campu...
Article
Experience of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a risk factor for the development of maladaptive outcomes across the lifespan. CSA victims have been found to have a significantly higher risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than children who experience non-CSA trauma. While cognitive behavioral therapy approaches have been found to...
Chapter
Human?animal studies is a relatively new field of inquiry, having developed over the last two to three decades. Its primary focus is the varied and multiple relations between human and other animals. This includes historical, current, real, and symbolic relationships. Gender is a key variable in human relations with other animals as it affects both...
Book
This book employs an an intersectional feminist approach to highlight how research and teaching agendas are being skewed by commercialized, corporatized and commodified values and assumptions implicit in the neoliberalization of the academy. The authors combine 50 years of academic experience and focus on species, gender and class as they document...
Chapter
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In this chapter, we discuss aspects of our experience as working-class feminists employed in nonmainstream areas of the social sciences in a publicly funded Australian university. We explain our intersectional understanding of privilege and oppression, particularly as it relates to human–animal studies, our main area of research. We argue that alth...
Chapter
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The themes of oppression, privilege, and solidarity continue in this chapter as we discuss how neoliberalism impacts on the way research is undertaken, evaluated, and esteemed within the academy and (increasingly corporatized) public health, education, and welfare. While our focus is on same-sex abuse and housing issues, it is part of a broader dis...
Chapter
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In this first chapter, we explore some of the foundational concepts for this book. We start by outlining the impacts of the neoliberalization of the academy and advance our central argument: that such impacts go beyond the interpersonal or the administrative to determine the very generation and dissemination of knowledge itself. Drawing on our own...
Chapter
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While we are critical of the many negative effects of the process of marginalization, particularly its tendency to render important topics trivial, we nevertheless note that solidarity is sometimes produced among people whose topics, methods, and/or theoretical approaches are marginalized. Solidarity, or the collective feeling of unity, can expand...
Chapter
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Living on the margins is the theme of this fifth chapter. We extend out from universities to consider research done with those who dwell at the margins; research that by being oriented toward critical commentary on the way marginalized and/or oppressed groups and individuals are treated is itself considered marginal. For these same reasons, it also...
Chapter
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Throughout this book, we have explored the consequences of neoliberalism on and in academia, primarily in terms of how it affects the kinds of knowledge produced and valued. We have used our own experiences of producing marginalized work that advocates for oppressed groups (other species, women, and those who are part of the working class) to argue...
Book
This book employs an an intersectional feminist approach to highlight how research and teaching agendas are being skewed by commercialized, corporatized and commodified values and assumptions implicit in the neoliberalization of the academy. The authors combine 50 years of academic experience and focus on species, gender and class as they document...
Article
Research demonstrates that animal abuse is linked with various forms of interpersonal violence and that veterinarians themselves are concerned about this link. However, Australian veterinarians are not currently mandated to report cases of suspected animal abuse (AA), a position outlined by the Australian Veterinary Association under their "Animal...
Chapter
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PurposeThe last few decades have seen the rise of a new field of inquiry – human–animal studies (HAS). As a rich, theoretically and disciplinarily diverse field, HAS shines a light on the various relations that humans have with other animals across time, space and culture. While still a small, but rapidly growing field, HAS has supported the develo...
Article
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Animals are increasingly being used in a range of social work settings and extant research demonstrates they can offer a wide range of benefits to humans. With other professions, social work is oriented towards caring for people but does not officially recognise (non-human) animals. Given the rise in animal-related interventions and emergence of ve...
Article
Anecdotal reports suggest that people may be affected more by media coverage of animal rather than human-related abuse. Findings of the extant research regarding this apparent effect are mixed and omit certain key variables that may drive differential reactions to abuse disclosure. The goal of the current study was therefore to examine whether diff...
Book
As the scholarly and interdisciplinary study of human/animal relations becomes crucial to the urgent questions of our time, notably in relation to environmental crisis, this collection explores the inner tensions within the relatively new and broad field of animal studies. This provides a platform for the latest critical thinking on the condition a...
Article
Abstract Research examining the interpersonal interactions of those high on the Dark Triad has proliferated in recent years. Extant research, however, has not examined other types of relationships such as attitudes and behaviors towards animals. Further, there has been limited research examining the associations between personality and attitudes an...
Article
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Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a social problem that often inflicts long lasting psychological trauma and leads to psychopathology, behavioural problems and re-victimization. Treating young people who are presenting with the detrimental effects of CSA is often difficult because these effects off-set efforts at establishing a therapeutic bond. Animals...
Book
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Animals at Work considers the ways in which humans make meaning from their interactions with non-humans in a range of organizations. This is done through ethnographic research in a number of workplaces, from farms and slaughter-houses to rescue shelters and veterinary practices.
Article
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Experience of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is both prevalent and under-reported in Australia as it is elsewhere in the world. The negative psychosocial and behavioural sequelae of such abuse may be severe and can often last for the lifetime of the individual if therapeutic intervention is not successful. Meta-analyses of treatment outcome evaluatio...
Article
Previous research has examined a range of demographic variables that have been shown to influence an individual’s attitude towards, and in turn their treatment of, animals however little is known about the effect of certain occupations upon these attitudes. The current study examines attitudes towards animals and propensity for aggression within a...
Article
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Intentional cruelty to animals (CTA) by children and the implications thereof have been examined theoretically and empirically for many years, and there is now a well-developed literature base suggesting that this type of aberrant behaviour warrants close (and immediate) attention, especially from clinicians, for a number of reasons. Research sugge...