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"My Dog's Just Like Me": Dog Ownership as a Gender Display

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Abstract

Based on interviews with twenty-six dog owners in northeast Georgia, this article examines how people rely on gender norms to organize their relationships with their dogs. Owners use gender norms to (1) select what they consider to be suitable dogs, (2) describe their dogs' behaviors and personalities, and (3) use their dogs as props to display their own gender identities. Although these findings are specific to dog owners, they suggest ways individuals may attempt to display gender in other relationships characterized by a power imbalance.

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... Compared to relinquishers, current owners are more attached to their canines, as evidenced by more commonly -strongly agreeing‖ that the pet is part of the family and by having its picture displayed (Kline & Bibbo, 2009;Patronek, Glickman, Beck, McCabe, & Ecker, 1996). In his qualitative study of current pet owners, Ramirez's (2006) participants explicitly or implicitly conveyed appreciation for the consolation and companionship provided by their canine. Both genders tended to snuggle with their dogs and characterize them as a -best friend‖; women were more prone to view them as -eternal children‖ whereas men, a -workout partner‖ (p. ...
... Empirically based research on adoption has not been nearly as prolific as the relinquishment research, but retroactive qualitative studies on adopter attraction, literature on predictors of animal shelter outcomes, and interviews that identify favorable dog characteristics do exist. Ramirez (2006) conducted a small qualitative study of 26 middle-class dog owners who recalled how they chose their dog. There were individual differences among adopters in terms of their primary selection criteria: physical characteristics, personality, or being drawn to a particular animal. ...
... with outcome. Despite that dog behavior is more a function of breed and owner treatment than sex, these results corroborate comments mentioned in Ramirez's (2006) study in which gender stereotypes were used to interpret and explain dog behavior (e.g. aggressive male). ...
Thesis
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Each year millions of dogs enter animal shelters across the U.S.; subsequently well over a million are euthanized (American Humane, 2010). Only a limited number of independent studies have investigated reasons for relinquishment of dogs to animal shelters; empirical literature on predictors of adoption versus euthanasia is even scarcer. The primary aim of this study was to use a data-driven approach to identify dog characteristics that contribute to adoption. In turn, the results can be used in subsequent theory building on owner--dog attraction. Data were comprised of all the dogs entering and exiting the Kansas Humane Society, located in Wichita, KS, in 2007. The variable contributing the most variance (17%) to whether a dog was adopted or euthanized was owner’s reason from relinquishment. A discriminant analysis revealed that purebred status had the biggest influence relative to six other variables used to predict shelter outcome; it accounted for 29% of the variance of the discriminant function, which in turn accounted for 7.8% of the variance. In descending order of importance, the other predictors of adoption were smallness, being a stray, youth, not having a primarily black coat, medium hair, and being female. Additional findings and implications for shelter and community policy are presented.
... This falls in line with the established literature on the human-animal relationship. While some research shows that men have a significantly lower connection with companion animals than women (Cohen, 2002;Kellert & Berry, 1980;Kidd & Kidd, 1980;Martens, Enders-Slegers, & Walker, 2016;Vollum, Buffington-Vollum, & Longmire, 2004), other research has shown little to no gender differences in the closeness of relationships with companion animals (Irvine, 2013;Prato-Previde, Fallani, & Valsecchi, 2006;Ramirez, 2006;Sanders, 1993). Using a sample comprised exclusively of men, the current research could not compare relationships with companion animals across gender, and nor was this the purpose. ...
... Using a sample comprised exclusively of men, the current research could not compare relationships with companion animals across gender, and nor was this the purpose. However, what studies like Ramirez (2006) and Prato-Previde et al. (2006) illustrate is that men can and do have close relationships with companion animals. ...
... From a theoretical standpoint, this study added to the literature on masculinities in a particular context -relationships with companion animals. While human-animal relationships and masculinity have been addressed to a limited degree, this has mainly been through survey research with preconstructed dimensions of masculinity and femininity (Kidd & Kidd, 1980;Prato-Previde et al., 2006;Ramirez, 2006;Vollum et al., 2004). By soliciting the voices of men Discussion 201 themselves, and their narratives about their relationships, this study presents a unique contribution to the literature on masculinity and relationships with companion animals. ...
Thesis
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Companion animals are increasingly becoming part of our families, and the majority of homes in North America now include at least one companion animal (American Pet Products Association, 2018; Oliveira, 2014). One body of research has shown that both men and women have close relationships with companion animals (Irvine, 2013; Prato-Previde et al., 2006; Ramirez, 2006; Sanders, 1993), while another body of research shows that companion animals are the targets of threats and harm in connection to IPV perpetrated by men (Ascione et al., 2007; Barrett et al., 2017; Flynn, 2000a; Simmons & Lehmann, 2007). Most of the research at the intersection of IPV and animal abuse has used the perspective of the women survivors in the abusive relationships. This perspective is essential to establish effective programs and services for survivors of IPV, to understand the impacts of the abuse of a companion animal on their human companions, and to begin to understand the complexity of relationships with IPV. However, it is one perspective – the perspective of the abuser in the relationship is generally missing in this literature. The current study addresses this gap in the literature through focusing on the men’s perspective. Active interviews were conducted with 21 men, eight of whom had no reported perpetration of IPV recruited from the community, and thirteen who had been abusive towards an intimate partner and who were incarcerated or court-mandated participants in a domestic violence intervention program. Relationships with companion animals fell along a continuum with disinterest in the pet at one end and a cherished family member at the other. There was no discernible difference in how the companion animals were conceptualized between men who had been abusive towards an intimate partner and those with no reported abuse. Relationships with animals were characterized by unconditional love, loyalty, and trust, contrary to how most participants described their intimate relationships. Companion animals featured in the performance and construction of masculinity, from a ‘tough guy with a tough dog’ to a nurturing father. Companion animals enabled men to do a ‘softer’ masculinity in which sensitivity and emotional vulnerability were more acceptable, as well as do their masculinity in accordance with hegemonic norms of authority, power, and control. Men in this study evidenced varying acceptance of aggression towards people, including towards intimate partners, however, there was a clear consensus that aggression against animals was not acceptable. No participant reported abusing an animal in the context of IPV, which challenges the essentialization of abusive men in the literature by showing that men who abuse their partners do not necessarily engage in animal mistreatment, and in fact may have positive relationships with animals. The value of this research lies in its contribution to a better understanding of the perspectives of men who commit IPV, thus providing a more comprehensive understanding of IPV. The findings show companion animals, who are increasingly being considered members of the family and with whom relationships are highly valued, hold important roles in intimate relationships with both with and without IPV. These findings have important policy implications, namely in the modification and improvement of domestic violence intervention programs to reflect these positive relationships with companion animals through a strengths-based approach.
... Although growing steadily in recent years, in general, sociology encounters the social lives of nonhuman animals in fits and spurts (e.g., Cerulo 2009;Irvine 2008;Jerolmack and Tavory 2014;Ramirez 2006;Sanders 2010). This is surprising because, as many scholars of animal-human relations have noted, "there is virtually no area of social life that is untouched by animals" (Bryant 1979; see also Tovey 2003). ...
... This is surprising because, as many scholars of animal-human relations have noted, "there is virtually no area of social life that is untouched by animals" (Bryant 1979; see also Tovey 2003). Recent sociological research on the roles of animals in society highlights the ways pets allow for owners to engage in their own "selfhood" projects (Arluke 2006;Irvine 2004;Laurent-Simpson 2017;Mayorga-Gallo 2018;Ramirez 2006;Sanders 2010), and the boundary-work associated with animal experimentation and animals as food (Arluke 1991;Arluke and Hafferty 1996;Ellis 2014;Peggs 2012). More germane to the present paper, prior work documents the "humanization" of animals, broadly understood, through the lens of social movements, professions, and the family (Cherry 2010;Irvine and Cilia 2017;Sanders 2010). ...
Article
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In recent decades, the United States has witnessed profound changes in the sociocultural valuation of dogs, variously described as humanization, sentimentalization, or sacralization. A broad look at this “sacralization” of dogs in the United States reveals that this changing valuation has altered dogs’ place within economic processes. In particular, these changes parallel Viviana Zelizer’s work on the changing valuation of children a century ago. In this article, we further specify Zelizer’s insights by arguing that these accompanying economic transformations are best understood as shifting of a dogs’ place within budgetary units: from objects for human consumption to fellow actors humans consume with and around.
... The application of gender stereotypes to animals has received relatively little attention. Ramirez's (2006) analysis of gender and dog ownership is one of the few studies to explicitly consider how people apply gender stereotypes to animals. Participants in his research viewed female dogs as more moody but less aggressive than male dogs, who were considered more likely to be fun companions to play with. ...
... These judgements, made on the basis of gender stereotypes, tend to disadvantage female horses, who are seen as less desirable partners in sport and leisure than their male equivalents. Our findings support Ramirez's (2006) conclusions that gender stereotypes inform relationships not only between humans, but also between humans and other species. Our findings also illustrate that gender stereotypes are frequently applied to horses by both leisure riders, who likely made up the majority of our sample, and professional breeders, as identified in Hurn's (2008) research. ...
Article
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Gender stereotypes shape human social interaction, often to the detriment of women and those who do not comply with normative expectations of gender. So far, little research has assessed the extent to which people apply gender stereotypes to animals, and the implications this may have for in-dividuals and groups, particularly female animals. The current study investigated survey respondents’ preference for horses to perform in different sport and leisure practices, based solely on ideas about the sex of the animal. An anonymous online survey explored the preferences of riders for mares, geldings, and stallions for dressage, show-jumping, and trail-riding, and reasons for their choice. A total of 1,032 responses were received. Geldings were the preferred choice, being perceived as safe and reliable, followed by stallions who were valued for their supposed power, presence, and good looks. Overall, mares were the least popular choice, and were discussed in ambivalent terms reflecting broad gender stereotypes which depict females as moody, flighty, and unpredictable. Respondents appeared to draw on gender stereotypes to make judgements about horses and justify their choices. The anthropomorphic application of gender stereotypes to animals may have negative consequences for female animals, shaping human–animal interactions and expectations.
... However, a recent report suggests that many riders and trainers approach the horse-human dyad with preconceived ideas about horse temperament, based solely on the sex of the horse [6]. Historically, sex-related stereotypes have influenced human interactions, and whilst gender equality has significantly improved in many countries, ingrained sex biases still persist in interpersonal relationships [10,11]. This legacy of human society historically devaluing women may be projected from humans onto animals [10,12]. ...
... Historically, sex-related stereotypes have influenced human interactions, and whilst gender equality has significantly improved in many countries, ingrained sex biases still persist in interpersonal relationships [10,11]. This legacy of human society historically devaluing women may be projected from humans onto animals [10,12]. Sex-related stereotypes are common in equestrian contexts, where mares are sometimes perceived by riders and trainers as having inherent temperament traits that are undesirable [6,13]. ...
Article
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Horse trainers and riders may have preconceived ideas of horse temperament based solely on the sex of the horse. A study (n = 1233) of horse enthusiasts (75% of whom had more than 8 years of riding experience) revealed that riders prefer geldings over mares and stallions. While these data may reflect different sex preferences in horses used for sport, they may also reduce the chances of some horses reaching their performance potential. Further, an unfounded sex prejudice is likely to contribute to unconscious bias when perceiving unwanted behaviours, simplistically attributing them to demographic characteristics rather than more complex legacies of training and prior learning. The current study analysed reported sex-related behavioural differences in ridden and non-ridden horses using data from responses to the pilot study of the Equine Behaviour Assessment and Research Questionnaire (E-BARQ) survey. Respondents (n = 1233) reported on the behaviour of their horse using a 151-item questionnaire. Data were searched for responses relating to mares and geldings, and 110 traits with the greatest percentage difference scores between mares and geldings were selected were tested for univariate significance at p < 0.2. Multivariable modelling of the effect of sex (mare or gelding) on remaining traits was assessed by ordinal logistic regression, using a cumulative proportional log odds model. Results revealed mares were significantly more likely to move away when being caught compared to geldings (p = 0.003). Geldings were significantly more likely to chew on lead ropes when tied (p = 0.003) and to chew on rugs (p = 0.024). However, despite sex-related differences in these non-ridden behaviours, there was no evidence of any significant sex-related differences in the behaviours of the horses when ridden. This finding suggests that ridden horse behaviour is not sexually dimorphic or that particular horse sports variously favour one sex over another.
... Gender norms are also ever-present in the lives of these furry companions. Ramirez (2006) found that gender norms influenced the type and breed of pet that respondents chose to acquire, how dogs' behaviors were explained, and the ways in which dogs were used as a gender prop. For example, one woman described her Yorkshire terrier's excitement and inability to stay still during the researcher's visit as flirty, whereas a man would have been more likely to remark about the dog's level of friendliness (Ramirez, 2006, p. 381). ...
... Moreover, when a heterosexual couple described what they liked most about owning their pair of dogs, the man described his enjoyment in participating in outdoor activities with his dogs, whereas the woman described the joy they bring her because they provide her with constant companionship and someone with whom to talk. She also expressed a desire to be able to know what her dogs were thinking (Ramirez, 2006). Even pet naming practices seem to align with the gender norms in the naming of humans (Abel & Kruger, 2007;Brandes, 2009). ...
Article
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Individuals in many cultures have a close relationship with their pets and think of them not only as companion animals but also as family. Research on the ways in which people memorialize their deceased pets has become increasingly important, and pet cemetery gravestone inscriptions have provided a way to examine the evolution of the human–animal bond. Past studies of the inscriptions on gravestones have been largely qualitative, whereas our longitudinal study of the 2,695 memorial plaques from 1951 to 2018 in the Lancaster Pet Cemetery in the United States allows for a quantitative analysis of the inscriptions and what they reveal about pets, owners, and people’s relationship with their pets over time. The results showed that nearly all plaques listed the pet’s name as well as the pet’s year of birth and year of death. Identifying the type of pet on the plaque increased over time as did the use of a bronze cast or picture to identify the type of pet, nearly all of which were dogs or cats. The use of gendered human names for pets increased over time, particularly for families and male-female couples. The types of owners remained relatively stable over time, with about two-thirds of pets belonging to families and male-female couples; however, the way in which owners listed themselves on the plaques changed over time. Words on the memorial plaques that increased over time included “love/loved,” “you,” “Mommy/Daddy,” and “missed,” and described the owner relative to the pet or feelings about it. On the other hand, the word that decreased most over time was “pet.” For the most part, there was little variation in the words by type of pet or type of owner. Many of the findings signaled an increasing tendency for people to think of their pets as family. Suggestions for future research are also included.
... Because they are expensive to buy and maintain, pedigreed dogs and cats, as well as horses, can still function as a marker of social status [52]. Companion animals also communicate gender identities and norms [53,54], as well as the guardian's (desired) personality and temperament [53,55]. They further expand the opportunities to enter social encounters and situations such as dog parks, breeder organizations, competitions, and training classes, which afford the guardians self-definitional information and social recognition [50]. ...
... Because they are expensive to buy and maintain, pedigreed dogs and cats, as well as horses, can still function as a marker of social status [52]. Companion animals also communicate gender identities and norms [53,54], as well as the guardian's (desired) personality and temperament [53,55]. They further expand the opportunities to enter social encounters and situations such as dog parks, breeder organizations, competitions, and training classes, which afford the guardians self-definitional information and social recognition [50]. ...
Article
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The unfolding of the ecological disaster has led authors to reconsider the position of the human subject and his/her relationship with the earth. One entry point is the concept of ecological citizenship, which emphasizes responsibility, community, and care. However, the discourse of ecological citizenship often reduces the human subject to a critical consumer-citizen and citizenship education to the production of such a subject. The position outlined in this paper provides a more fundamental critique of consumption as a way of being in and relating to the world. In particular, it foregrounds objectification, commodification, and its impacts on human and nonhuman subjectivity and the possibility of care within a multi-species community. The paper brings animal-sensitive work in environmental education research and political theory into dialogue with a more general critique of culture and pedagogy in consumer society. From this perspective, ecological citizenship education seeks to liberate human and nonhuman beings from predetermined behavioral results and functions, and opens the time and space for the subjectification of human and nonhuman citizens within the complex dynamics of a multi-species community. With this proposition, the paper contributes to an ecocentric understanding of ecological citizenship education that builds on the continuity of life and subjective experience.
... Much of this research focuses specifically on people's lives with dogs and cats, with a few studies addressing other species, such as horses. Little, however, has addressed questions of gender, 1 and how gender is performed in relation to animals (Ramirez, 2006;Lawrence 1985). ...
Article
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In this article, we explore how gender is enacted within human/animal relationships – specifically, between people and horses. Horse cultures can be gendered in several ways, from little girls and their ponies to modern versions of the cowboy. Here, we examine two specific horse/human cultures – traditional “English” riding, and the rise of what is often termed “natural horsemanship” (despite the preponderance of women within it). Horses themselves, however, play an important role in the way that horsey cultures become experienced as gendered. We examine this in relation to Paechter's [Paechter, Carrie (2003). Masculinities and femininities as communities of practice. Women's Studies International Forum 26, 69–77] idea of “communities of practice”, arguing that the presence and meanings of the animal within particular communities – as well as the human practices – together shape how people experience gender. The presence of horses enables a subversion of dominant gender practices particularly at the localized (private) level, while at the same time enables a reinscription of traditional gender ideals at the global (public) level. Gender is experienced and expressed through the body; but, in human–horse relationships it is also expressed in conjunction with the body and character of the horse. Horses are not mere props, but rather they are companions who have a profound impact on people's lived experience of gender and how it is expressed corporeally. Continuing to explore the multiple ways gender is experienced within the context of human/animal relationships promises to offer greater insight into the complex workings of gender.
... This same phenomenon was found by Cloutier and Peetz (2016), who found perceived partner empathy in human romantic relationships increased over the duration of having a pet in the home. Likewise, pet parents will frequently gender their dogs' behaviors and personalities (Ramirez, 2006), and at times, risk their own health to care for their pets (Hodgson, Darling, & Kim, 2015). They also participate in pet-related activities such as "yappy hour" (Greenebaum, 2004) and call for parental type consideration in the work place, most recently requesting "pawternity leave" to assist in acclimating a new puppy or rescue dog to the home (Lou, 2016). ...
Article
The American Pet Products Association reports a decade-long increase of pet spending, estimated to reach over $69 billion in 2017. In some cases, these owners apply traditional parenting practices while nurturing their pets. Relatedly, a growing number of pet owners identify themselves as “pet parents.” This study is the first known work to investigate how identity plays a role in the growing population of pet parents. While previous research into the pet parenting phenomenon has sought to quantify the demographics, spending, and frequency of this population, less work seeks to understand what pet parenting looks like in practice. Sampling a population of childfree pet parents, the current study utilized semi-structured interviews and identified two common themes in their daily practice of the identity: 1) Despite the use of parent–child terms and strategies, childfree pet parents are acutely aware of the differences between raising children and raising pets, and 2) pet parents ascribe agency to their pet, identifying individual pet wants and needs to fulfill. This may further inform future research on human–animal relationships by establishing a human identity that connects directly to pet practices in the United States, asking us to consider the lived experiences of this growing population and their pets including spending, lifestyle, and attachment concerns.
... Gender role expectations could be the reason for these differences. As mentioned by Herzog, Betchart, and Pittman (1991) and Ramirez (2006), gender role expectations affect friendship patterns when choosing dogs. The gender roles of femininity, such as showing understanding, providing emotional support, and emphasizing communication (Johnson, 1996), and the tendency to embrace a dog-companionship experience (Dotson & Hyatt, 2008), could be why females consider breed characteristics and working expectation less. ...
... In the present study, male participants described the emotional states of the dogs significantly more often as relaxed, in comparison with female participants. This finding is not surprising since it is known that men are more likely to focus on physical activity when describing canine behaviors, while women have a tendency to focus on emotions (Ramirez 2011). Female participants in this study were more likely to pay attention to the emotional state of the dogs. ...
Article
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Child safety around dogs is an important issue since most dog bites involve small children. The supervision of children and dogs whilst they are together is therefore crucial. This study aimed to investigate the ability of adults to interpret canine body language and behavior during a child–dog interaction. An online survey about three selected videos, each showing small children interacting with dogs, was sent to four different groups of participants: dog owners with children, dog owners without children, non-dog owners with children, and non-dog owners without children. The dogs appearing in the videos were categorized as fearful/anxious and lacking in confidence by an expert panel. According to the answers given by 71 participants, people mostly classified the dogs as relaxed (68.4%) and confident (65.1%) during the dog–child interaction. Respondents reported the predominant behaviors of the dogs whilst they interacted with children as play (23.0%) and friendly behaviors (19.2%). Holistic cues (44.6%) were the most common cues referred to by respondents; these being cues that are qualitative assessments based on the dogs’ behaviors, such as descriptions about the dogs’ feelings, intentions, and judgments. Significant differences were found between dog owners and non-dog owners in describing the dogs’ emotions in the videos. Participants without dogs were more successful than dog owners when classifying the emotional states of the dogs. These findings indicate that adults have difficulty in reading behavioral signs of anxiety and fear in dogs interacting with children. Moreover, it was shown that having experience with a dog without any theoretical knowledge of dog behavior may be a detriment to interpreting canine language. Therefore, the education of adults on dog behavior as well as on safe practices during child–dog interaction is important in the prevention of dog bites to children.
... Men were nearly twice as likely as women to reject the label altogether or to qualify it ("depends"/somewhat). This gender effect is consistent with findings from Ramirez (2006) that showed women were more likely than men to apply labels of "mother" or "parent" in speaking about their relationship to their pets whereas men were more likely to see pets as friends, highlighting traditional gender identities and revealing how pets can become props for humans' identity performances. ...
Article
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This qualitative study explores a widespread contemporary family form, the interspecies family, to understand how people who count their cats and dogs as family members describe this process of becoming and maintaining family. We focus on one aspect of interspecies families—pet parenting. We find that even though individuals say their pets are family, not all consider themselves to be parents or engaged in pet parenting. Participants with human children differed somewhat from those without human children, suggesting that family form shapes pet parenting experiences. Childless participants draw heavily from larger cultural narratives surrounding parenting to construct the parent–pet child relationship. Those with younger human children talk about the relationship primarily from a place of difference, while those with older human children construct the relationship in similar ways to childless individuals and emphasize similarities between raising children and pets. This study contributes to the literature on family change and human–animal relationships within households.
... En los últimos años se ha observado una evolución importante respecto al papel de los caninos en las familias, convirtiéndose en un miembro más del hogar [1]. En un estudio en el que se realizó una encuesta a nuevos propietarios de caninos, describieron sus mascotas como "hijos peludos" y tenían una percepción de relación familiar con su perro 2]. ...
Article
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Introduction: The importance of pets and their direct relationship with public health and zoonoses greatly influence the need for epidemiological databases in Colombia. Materials and methods: For eight months, information of dogs cared for at nine veterinary clinics in Manizales, Colombia was obtained. Variables such as breed, sex, reproductive status, reason for consultation, clinical findings, and presumptive diagnoses were catalogued. Population was classified into four age groups: Group a (0-3 months); Group b (4-12 months); Group c (13-36 months); Group d (>37 months). Direct relationships among variables were evaluated and the existence of significant differences between groups and relevant statistical data was analysed. Results: 2414 dogs, 1381 males (11.3% castrated), 1033 females (26% sterilised) were reported. The distribution of population in each subgroup was: Group a (10.2%); Group b (24.7%); Group c (23.6%); Group d (41.5%). A significant difference (p <0.05) was found between subgroups and the prevalence of conditions in some systems. The digestive system was the most frequent reason for consultation in Group a (52.7%), followed by Group b (34.1%). The main reason for consultation in all groups was by conditions of the digestive system (30.07%); skin diseases (26.39%) were the second most frequent reason for consultation. Conclusions: Frequency of occurrence of different conditions is consistent with similar research and epidemiological studies in other cities of the country and the world. It is recommended that other cities conduct similar research.
... A broad example of this can be found in the inf luence of gendered social norms and personal ideologies in the co-identification of owner and pet, such as with physical and temperament characteristics in choosing a companion dog (e.g. Ramirez, 2006). Despite such co-identification resources existing for some time, there is a paucity of research regarding what roles these constructs play in applied settings. ...
Article
The widespread tendency of modern-day pet owners to self-identify with their companion animals psychologically, symbolically and relationally demonstrates how the constructed identities of animal and owner are strongly linked. This becomes particularly apparent during natural disasters. In this review, the new concept of the pet-owning self is discussed in relation to three self-psychology perspectives: self-extension, symbolic interactionism and selfobject relations. We purposefully depart from the realm of attachment theory to argue that these three epistemological approaches to self-identity, although related, warrant closer examination. Although we discuss them in relation to disaster contexts, the concept of the pet-owning self remains widely applicable. We argue for the importance of acknowledging the powerful intersubjectivity inherent to pet keeping, the inseparability of perceived pet identity from owners' experiences of the self and that preserving the cohesion of the two is an essential consideration for owners' psychological wellbeing when managing the integrated pet/owner in the face of risks posed by disaster and other hazards. Future research opportunities and implications are then discussed in the context of social identity theory.
... What some research has recently explored, for example, is how gender partly shapes the ways in which humans and animals interact with one another (e.g. Herzog, 2007;Ramirez, 2006). One way to further investigate this link is to look at the extent to which men and women differ in their approaches to sharing a bed with a pet animal. ...
Article
Within the emerging sociology of sleep, researchers have, for strategic reasons, been mainly concerned with the sleep of human beings. But of what benefit is it to understand sleep as a trait of non-human entities? The aim of this article is to establish why it is worthwhile to expand how sleep is theoretically construed in sociological circles, so that sleep is more than just a property that human beings possess. In particular, I explore why it is fruitful to consider the sleep of non-human animals from a sociological perspective. I also examine the value of understanding sleep as a property ascribed to some technological devices. I then use the remaining part of this article to reflect on what it means to study sleep in these expanded ways. I relate non-human sleep to the emergence of the new materialism and explore how the concept opens up new areas for sociological inquiry.
... Weiss, Miller, Mohan-Gibbons, and Vela [9] found appearance to be the single most important reason adopters gave for choosing their new dog; and in Protopopova, Gilmour, Weiss, Shen, and Wynne [10], potential adopters were able to distinguish between dogs that had been adopted or euthanized based solely on their attractiveness in photographs. Ramirez [11] reported that dog owners recalled appearance, personality and attraction to their dog as the reasons for choosing their current dog; and Nemcova and Novak [12] found that over one-third of respondents rated appearance as the most important factor in dog selection. Given that physical appearance is important to those looking to adopt dogs, we are interested in how breed labels influence that attractiveness. ...
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Previous research has indicated that certain breeds of dogs stay longer in shelters than others; however exactly how breed perception and identification influences potential adopters' decisions remains unclear. Current dog breed identification practices in animal shelters are often based upon information supplied by the relinquishing owner, or staff determination based on the dog's phenotype. However discrepancies have been found between breed identification as typically assessed by welfare agencies and the outcome of DNA analysis. In Study 1, the perceived behavioral and adoptability characteristics of a pit-bull-type dog were compared with those of a Labrador Retriever and Border Collie. We also assessed whether the addition of a human handler influenced those perceptions. In Study 2, we compared lengths of stay and perceived attractiveness of dogs that were labeled as pit bull breeds to dogs that were phenotypically similar but were labeled as another breed at an animal shelter. We call the latter dogs, "lookalikes." In Study 3, we compared the perceived attractiveness in video recordings of pit-bull-type dogs and lookalikes with and without breed labels. Lastly, we analyzed data from an animal shelter that ceased applying breed labeling on kennels, and compared lengths of stay and outcomes for all dog breeds, including pit bulls, before and after the change in labeling practice. In total, our findings suggest that breed labeling influences potential adopters' perceptions and decision-making. Given the inherent complexity of breed assignment based on morphology coupled with negative breed perceptions, removing breed labels is a relatively low-cost strategy that will likely improve outcomes for dogs in animal shelters.
... The theoretical perspective of Erving Goffman has been successfully employed in various other contexts to understand human and animal interaction (e.g., Ramirez, 2006;Irvine, 2004). Here, Goffman's (1961) discussion of a "situated activity," a kind of focused interaction, provides an established framework for analyzing interaction that can be adapted to humans and animals and appears especially appropriate to understanding the formal dog park. ...
Article
This study examines how people engage with the dynamic environment of the dog park in the face of unclear or ambiguous rules and emergent norms. Using participant observation, the analysis shows how, in the formal dog park, caretakers become "control managers" who must negotiate problems related to a variety of dog behaviors, especially mounting, aggression, and waste management. In this process, caretakers use various strategies to manage their own and others' possible perceptions and understandings of appropriate behavior for dogs in public places.
... Gender-related gay and heterosexual stereotypes are relatively resilient in the United States, though historically and culturally variable (Murray, 2000;White, 1993;Trumbach, 1989;Ross, 1983). By contrast, nonhuman animals may be more protean symbols for gendered interpretations, as evinced in couples' divergent projections of masculine or feminine traits onto their dog to support each partner's culturally prescribed gender identity (Ramirez, 2006). Salient similarities among types of cats might appear to diminish their use in diverse representations, at least by contrast with the varied breeds and types of dogs available for diverse representational purposes. ...
Article
American undergraduates (192 male, 521 female) rated masculinity, femininity, and likability of two men (one highly masculine and unfeminine, one normally masculine with low femininity) from a videotaped interaction. Participants were informed that both men were cat persons, dog persons, heterosexual, adopted, or gay, or were unlabeled. Participants rated the men less masculine when cat persons than when dog persons or unlabeled, and less masculine and more feminine when gay than when anything else or unlabeled. The more masculine man received lower feminine ratings when a dog person than when a heterosexual, and higher masculine ratings when a dog person than when unlabeled. Labels did not affect likability. Overall, the gay label consistently promoted cross-gender attributions, the dog person label encouraged somewhat heightened gender-appropriate attributions, and the cat person label allowed for normative attributions.
... While little research has yet been undertaken investigating the role that sex hormones play in riding and competing with stallions and mares, there is anecdotal evidence that stallions can become difficult to control, notably in the presence of mares in oestrus. Owner gender and animal sex are reported to influence the interpretations of companion cat and dog behavior, including the behavior of de-sexed animals [53,54]. Indeed, in male dogs this is an area of scientific enquiry that continues to yield surprising results with desexing appearing to exacerbate many behaviors that were thought to be ameliorated by it [55]. ...
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We propose that the anthropomorphic application of gender stereotypes to animals influences human-animal interactions and human expectations, often with negative consequences for female animals. An online survey was conducted to explore riders’ perceptions of horse temperament and suitability for ridden work, based on horse sex. The questionnaire asked respondents to allocate three hypothetical horses (a mare, gelding and stallion) to four riders compromising a woman, man, girl and boy. Riders were described as equally capable of riding each horse and each horse was described as suitable for all riders. Participants were also asked which horses (mares, geldings or stallions) were most suitable for the three equestrian disciplines of show-jumping, dressage and trail-riding. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate people’s perceptions about suitability of horse types for particular riders, to evaluate if age, strength or gender were important in rider choice and to investigate riders’ allocation of various descriptors to a gelding, stallion or mare. There were 1,233 survey respondents, 94% of whom were female and 75% of whom were riders with at least eight years of experience. Binomial logistic regression revealed the girl had 2.5 times the odds of being allocated the gelding compared to the boy (p < 0.001). Respondents were significantly more likely to allocate the stallion to the man and nearly 50% of respondents did not allocate a horse to the boy, even though they ranked rider gender as least important to their choice (p < 0.001). In a forced choice selection of a positive or negative descriptor from a series of nine paired terms to describe horse temperament, a greater proportion of respondents assigned geldings positive ratings on terms such as calm, trainable, reliable and predictable. In terms of suitability for the three equestrian disciplines of show-jumping, dressage and trail-riding, participants overwhelmingly chose geldings for trail-riding, with mares being least preferred for both dressage and show-jumping disciplines. The results suggest that female riders are entering the horse-human dyad with gendered ideas about horse temperament and view horse-riding as an activity primarily for women and girls. This could have far-reaching implications for equine training and welfare.
... Some authors have considered different parameters that might define ownership practices: gender (Ramirez, 2006), race and social class (Anderson, 1990), and characteristics of family (Turner, 2005). In our research, we tested the hypotheses about the connection between dog-keeping practices and the type of residence the family live in. ...
Article
This article examines dog–owner relations and dog ownership in Omsk, Russia. We describe typical dog-keeping practices and reveal how diverse urban environments can influence these practices. A two-stage survey was conducted in 2014 to determine the numbers and management of dogs owned. In total, some 1,583 households at the first stage of the research and 323 households at the second stage were interviewed face-to-face. About 23% of all households in Omsk owned dogs, but this proportion varied markedly for different parts of the city. In the city's single-story area, 71.5% of households had dogs, while in the multi-story area this was only 10.8%. Dog-keeping practices were different in these areas. Significant differences in these practices were shown for almost all aspects: the selection criteria, dog feeding, veterinary treatment, dog walking, the roles of dogs, and owners’ attitudes toward them. Owners living in the single-story area demonstrated a utilitarian or functional approach to their dogs—influencing the sex, size, and the breed of the animal. Dogs often lived outside the house; they were vaccinated and taken to the veterinarian less often than dogs from the multi-story area. The owners in the multi-story area described more affectionate feelings toward their dogs. This is reflected in both the choice and treatment of the animals. We observed a larger proportion of pedigree dogs, a larger proportion of female animals, more vaccinations, and the owners making a variety of purchases for their dogs.
... While little research has yet been undertaken investigating the role that sex hormones play in riding and competing with stallions and mares, there is anecdotal evidence that stallions can become difficult to control, notably in the presence of mares in oestrus. Owner gender and animal sex are reported to influence the interpretations of companion cat and dog behavior, including the behavior of de-sexed animals [53,54]. Indeed, in male dogs this is an area of scientific enquiry that continues to yield surprising results with desexing appearing to exacerbate many behaviors that were thought to be ameliorated by it [55]. ...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that the anthropomorphic application of gender stereotypes to animals influences human-animal interactions and human expectations, often with negative consequences for female animals. An online survey was conducted to explore riders' perceptions of horse temperament and suitability for ridden work, based on horse sex. The questionnaire asked respondents to allocate three hypothetical horses (a mare, gelding and stallion) to four riders compromising a woman, man, girl and boy. Riders were described as equally capable of riding each horse and each horse was described as suitable for all riders. Participants were also asked which horses (mares, geldings or stallions) were most suitable for the three equestrian disciplines of show-jumping, dressage and trail-riding. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate people's perceptions about suitability of horse types for particular riders, to evaluate if age, strength or gender were important in rider choice and to investigate riders' allocation of various descriptors to a gelding, stallion or mare. There were 1,233 survey respondents, 94% of whom were female and 75% of whom were riders with at least eight years of experience. Binomial logistic regression revealed the girl had 2.5 times the odds of being allocated the gelding compared to the boy (p < 0.001). Respondents were significantly more likely to allocate the stallion to the man and nearly 50% of respondents did not allocate a horse to the boy, even though they ranked rider gender as least important to their choice (p < 0.001). In a forced choice selection of a positive or negative descriptor from a series of nine paired terms to describe horse temperament, a greater proportion of respondents assigned geldings positive ratings on terms such as calm, trainable, reliable and predictable. In terms of suitability for the three equestrian disciplines of show-jumping, dressage and trail-riding, participants overwhelmingly chose geldings for trail-riding, with mares being least preferred for both dressage and show-jumping disciplines. The results suggest that female riders are entering the horse-human dyad with gen-dered ideas about horse temperament and view horse-riding as an activity primarily for women and girls. This could have far-reaching implications for equine training and welfare.
... Eläinten välityksellä ilmaistaan yleisemminkin tietynlaisia näkemyksiä ja performoidaan identiteettejä (Adams 2013;Ramirez 2006). Eläimet nousevat puheenaiheeksi esimerkiksi silloin, kun ihmiset selittävät niiden toimintaa muille. ...
Book
This collection of articles sheds light on the role of human language in interspecies interaction. The book shows that language is not necessarily what separates us from other creatures. It can also be seen as yet another dimension of human existence that is deeply rooted in our shared history and everyday life with other living beings. This volume contains six individual research articles, two short reviews, an opening introduction to the themes of the book, and an extensive, theoretical closing chapter. The studies draw on methodologies and theoretical approaches including conversation analysis and a cognitive, usage-based approach to grammatical constructions. The book further explores the interfaces of linguistics, biosemiotics, and posthumanism. The studies show how linguistic and interactional approaches can contribute to our understanding of how human and non-human animals communicate with each other during embodied activities, how human language users make sense of interspecies encounters in speaking to or about animals, and how human language is thereby impregnated by the presence of other species. The individual research articles study, e.g., interaction with co-present animals, dialectal cow calls, parliamentary speeches, narratives of nature observation, and historical laws.
... However, it should not be assumed that this would also be the case for female and male owners. Findings from several previous studies suggest that women and men have different perceptions of animal emotions and behaviours [41,[43][44][45][46][47], which may alter the pattern of responses provided and, consequently, the structure of the scale. Therefore, future studies should assess whether the statistical model of the D-AISI currently observed would be suitable to explain the pattern of responses provided by male owners, as well. ...
Article
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To date, the Strange Situation Procedure is the only tool available to investigate the quality of the dog’s attachment bond towards the owner. This study aimed to adapt a parent-report scale, named the Attachment Insecurity Screening Inventory (AISI) 6–12, originally designed to assess 6- to 12-year-old children’s attachment insecurity, to dog–owner dyads and assess measures of consistency and validity. The online questionnaire was completed by 524 female dog owners. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed five components named, respectively, “physical contact”, “control”, “separation anxiety”, “owner as emotional support”, and “owner as a source of positive emotion”. Because of the three-factor structure of the original AISI, a PCA with a pre-fixed set of three factors was also performed. The resulting subscales mirrored the ones found for the original scale (i.e., ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized), although four items did not fit the model. Internal reliability appeared to be satisfying for the ambivalent and the disorganized subscales, and good for the avoidant subscale. The theoretical background and the results of this study suggest that the three-dimensional model represents a better solution for the interpretation of the Dog Attachment Insecurity Screening Inventory (D-AISI). Although promising, this scale requires refinement and assessment of additional validity measures.
... Es posible que esta diferencia se relacione tanto con cuestiones prácticas -por ejemplo, el manejo del animal-, como con aspectos más ligados a la identidad social del custodio. Se ha descrito que los custodios utilizan sus perros como accesorios para mostrar sus propias identidades de género (Ramirez, 2006). ...
Article
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Las mujeres parecen presentar más respuestas de afecto positivo hacia los animales. Sin embargo, hombres y mujeres refieren tener un vínculo intenso con sus mascotas. Los estudios sobre el tema han recibido diversos cuestionamientos. Considerando esto, se realizó un estudio descriptivo que comparó hombres y mujeres adultos custodios de perros (n=425) en tres grupos etarios (i.e., jóvenes, mediana edad y mayores), en seis dimensiones relacionales (i.e., interacción, cercanía emocional, costos, antropomorfismo, voluntad de adaptación y beneficios). Las mujeres mostraron mayores puntajes de cercanía emocional y antropomorfismo. Además, solo los hombres jóvenes mostraron mayor percepción de costos que las mujeres jóvenes. No se observaron diferencias en las demás dimensiones de acuerdo con el sexo del custodio. Se discute la significancia de los resultados considerando algunos aspectos sociocognitivos potencialmente implicados.
... Gender role expectations could be the reason for these differences. As mentioned by Herzog, Betchart, and Pittman (1991) and Ramirez (2006), gender role expectations affect friendship patterns when choosing dogs. The gender roles of femininity, such as showing understanding, providing emotional support, and emphasizing communication (Johnson, 1996), and the tendency to embrace a dog-companionship experience (Dotson & Hyatt, 2008), could be why females consider breed characteristics and working expectation less. ...
Article
The aim of this study was to identify factors affecting dog owners’ breed choices at the time of acquisition and whether they were associated with socio-demographics and dog-related variables (size, temperament, function). Answers (n = 581) to a questionnaire formed the data for this study. In order to determine which factors affected breed choice, a principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted. This revealed that owners were influenced by adaptation ability, social influence, working expectation, and breed characteristics at the time of dog acquisition, all of which explained 54.8% of the total variance. In order to determine the relationships between these influences, demographics, and dog-related factors, both univariate and multiple regression analyses were conducted. It was found that gender, education level, housing type, number of children, having another pet, and owners’ self-classification of professionalism were significantly associated with the factors affecting owners’ choices. Furthermore, dog-related factors were found to be a better predictor than the demographics of the owner in determining the factors affecting breed choices.
... This resulted in discovery of 62 images 17 across four categories: beach-voyeur-photography, exposed-private-parts, verifiably pornographic and upskirt in the following classes: 445-Bikini, 638 -maillot, 639-tank suit, 655-miniskirt and 459-brassiere (see Figure 3). Lastly, we harnessed literature from areas spanning from dog-ownership bias ( [42], [66]) to engendering of musical instruments ( [88], [13]) to generate analysis of subtle forms of human co-occurrence-based gender bias in Figure 4. Captured in Table 2 are the details of the csv formatted data assets curated for the community to build on. The CAG statistics are covered in df_insightface_stats.csv and df_audit_age_gender_dex.csv. ...
Preprint
In this paper we investigate problematic practices and consequences of large scale vision datasets. We examine broad issues such as the question of consent and justice as well as specific concerns such as the inclusion of verifiably pornographic images in datasets. Taking the ImageNet-ILSVRC-2012 dataset as an example, we perform a cross-sectional model-based quantitative census covering factors such as age, gender, NSFW content scoring, class-wise accuracy, human-cardinality-analysis, and the semanticity of the image class information in order to statistically investigate the extent and subtleties of ethical transgressions. We then use the census to help hand-curate a look-up-table of images in the ImageNet-ILSVRC-2012 dataset that fall into the categories of verifiably pornographic: shot in a non-consensual setting (up-skirt), beach voyeuristic, and exposed private parts. We survey the landscape of harm and threats both society broadly and individuals face due to uncritical and ill-considered dataset curation practices. We then propose possible courses of correction and critique the pros and cons of these. We have duly open-sourced all of the code and the census meta-datasets generated in this endeavor for the computer vision community to build on. By unveiling the severity of the threats, our hope is to motivate the constitution of mandatory Institutional Review Boards (IRB) for large scale dataset curation processes.
... It is important, therefore, to avoid framing LGBTQ+ people as a monolithic group, as subgroup variation based on sexual or gender identity, or differences based on intersecting identities, are crucial points of distinction that could importantly shape pet relationships and health outcomes. Previous literature has begun to disentangle the gendered meanings people may attach to their pet relationship/ownership, such as upholding dominant norms of masculinity and femininity (Ramirez, 2006) or resisting heteronormative edicts (McKeithen, 2017), so the notion of "doing" additional social categories (e.g., sexuality, class, race, ethnicity) through pets and impacts on health is a fruitful area of future exploration. ...
Article
Full-text available
Health disparities persist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ+)-identified people, often shaped by minority stress through anti-LGBTQ+ stigma. Resilience and coping are important for LGBTQ+ people widely, especially through social supports, but further examination is needed into more diverse, expansive mental health assets. Companion animals, or pets, have significant positive mental health benefits in the general population, but more understanding is needed to validate LGBTQ+ people’s lived experiences of minority stress, mental health challenges, and pet-based sources of resilience. We employ the minority resilience framework to ask: What role do pets play in how LGBTQ+ people navigate and cope with stress? This U.S.-based study centers the voices of 45 LGBTQ+ people’s qualitative interview narratives characterizing the diverse coping and resilience-building processes they develop through pet relationships. Findings demonstrate diverse processes surrounding pets as contributing to resilience, as participants emphasized the unique beneficial emotional connections pets provided. Second, pet family members were conceptualized as vital sources of support that promoted thriving. Finally, pet relationships fostered happiness and life enjoyment that augmented participants’ life satisfaction. This study delineates more diverse understandings of how LGBTQ+ people manage stress through their pet relationships, which can provide vital information to service providers and policymakers in more holistically attending to marginalized communities’ health needs.
... In exchange, companion animals may play a central role in an individual's life as authentic members of one's family unit, providing social and emotional support (Meehan, Massavelli, & Pachana, 2017). Companion animals fulfill roles such as friends for young children in the home (Cassels, White, Gee, & Hughes, 2017), replacement of children for some adults (Laurent-Simpson, 2017;Volsche, 2018), and an extension of one's self (Ramirez, 2006;Veevers, 1985). ...
Article
This research explores the impact of government-imposed social isolation orders on homes with companion animals. Data were collected April through May 2020, the onset of the COVID -19 pandemic. A survey of 234 Americans observing social isolation orders included demographic questions; questions about relationships to other persons and companion animals within the home; and Likert-scale questions designed to probe the complexities of these relationships and their influences on perceived stress and isolation. We hypothesized that the presence of companion animals helps to mitigate stressors related to observing social isolation orders, with those living alone experiencing more benefit and homes with children experiencing less. The results suggest that the presence of companion animals alleviates stress and isolation by providing attachment figures and activities on which to focus one’s energy. These results support that companion animals are increasingly viewed as members of one’s family and provide social support during stressful life events.
... While early research suggests that people objectify their pets by considering them to be many things at onceequipment, status symbols, hobby, toys, possessions, and ornaments (Belk, 1996;Hirschman, 1994), more recent research indicates that people are gradually changing their mindsets and see their pets more as companions. Researchers suggest that there are several factors that may shape human-pet relationships such as gender of the pet owner (Ramirez, 2006) and the geographic location of the owners (Blouin, 2012(Blouin, , 2013. Fox and Gee (2016) studied how people's relationship with their pets has evolved over time. ...
Article
Globally, many attempts are being made to reduce food waste. A remarkable new solution is upcycling. Upcycled food uses food ingredients that are safe for consumption but are generally discarded. An emerging body of literature suggests that human consumers may be willing to buy and consume such foods for their own consumption. However, humans are not the only consumers in the food chain. One of the fastest growing segments in the food industry is pet food. Will pet owners be willing to purchase upcycled pet foods for their pets to consume? We provide the first assessment of acceptance of upcycled pet foods. We find that pet owners perceive upcycled pet foods to be superior in quality and sustainability than comparable conventional pet foods at an inexpensive price point, but not at an expensive price point. Findings from this research provide actionable insights for practitioners wanting to venture in upcycled pet foods.
Chapter
This piece is a review of the animal selfhood literature in sociology, organized into four main parts. First, I review the sociological literature of human-animal interactions, in which sociologists claim that animals possess selves. Second, I review how sociologists have referred to the self, from which I construct five criteria of selfhood, including self as attribution, self-awareness, intersubjectivity, self-concept/reflexivity, and narration. Third, I address how animals have selves using these criteria, drawing on sociological and ethological evidence. Fourth, I critique the animal interaction sociologists' specific claims of animal selfhood, including their epistemological failure to distinguish between human accounts of animal subjectivities and animal subjectivities, and their empirical failure to show how animals act toward themselves. Ultimately, I conclude that animal selves, particularly in an elemental Meadian sense, are potentially real, but in most cases are unobservable or unverifiable phenomena.
Article
Most people in the United States living with companion animals consider them family members (GfK Roper, 2009), however little is known about what this means. This study explores the beliefs about and experiences with companion animals of 12 men from various ethnic and social class groups, national origins, and geographic settings. Findings include that most men considered their pets to be members of the family, though not necessarily on a par with human members. Men's attitudes and relationships appeared to vary by race/ethnicity, social class, type of geographic community, and national origin. Implications are offered for social work practice and research so that social workers might develop more accurate assessments and effective interventions by taking these relationships into account.
Article
As evidenced by the popularity of animal behavior shows and books, online viral pet videos, and the presence of dogs or cats in two-thirds of American homes, pets clearly play an important role in many Americans’ lives. At the same time, however, millions of pets are abandoned, abused, and euthanized every year. What should we make of these seemingly conflicting realities? How do Americans really feel about and treat their pets? And what explains the differences? In recent years social scientists have begun to investigate the various and changing interactions between humans and animals. In particular, a growing body of research examines humans’ relationships with pets, most often dogs and cats. This paper reviews recent research in this field. After discussing what differentiates pets from other animals, the paper begins with a review of research investigating the meanings and roles of pets in people’s lives and the nature and benefits of human-pet attachments. Secondly, it reviews research on the factors that help explain why some people have a higher regard for pets than others. The paper concludes with a discussion of some of the limitations of existing research and some suggestions on how to expand future investigations.
Article
This paper examines the variations in dog owners' attitudes toward, treatment of, and interactions with, animals. Based on 28 in-depth interviews with dog owners from a county in the Midwestern United States, I demonstrate that pets are an important part of many people's lives, often providing companionship, entertainment, and meaningful interactions; however, there are notable, distinct variations in how people relate to them. Pet owners typically exhibit one of three orientations toward pets: “dominionistic,” “humanistic,” or “protectionistic.” The dominionistic have relatively low regard for their pets, valuing them primarily for the uses they provide, such as protection. Those employing the humanistic orientation elevate their pets to the status of surrogate humans and value their pets primarily for the affective benefits they enjoy from their close attachments. The protectionistic have high regard for both pets and animals more generally. They view pets as valuable companions and as creatures with their own interests. This typology offers insights for understanding the source and variety of the often ambiguous and contradictory relations between people and pets. I argue that individual characteristics and experiences impact how people understand and relate to animals, in large part, because they represent exposure to different cultural messages. I suggest that these orientations represent three sets of distinct cultural logics, each with distinct histories and contemporary sources.
Article
Over the last three decades, sociologists have expanded the scope of sociological analysis to include nonhuman objects. We build on these works to address the role of nonhuman, nonphysical objects in social interaction. Through participant observation at a Reiki training course, we examine how students learned to identify, experience, and meaningfully interact with Reiki energy, a nonhuman, nonphysical object. We show how Reiki energy emerged as a significant interactant through the following processes: participants in the class historicized Reiki; they defined the capacities and consequences of Reiki; and they learned to detect Reiki energy's apparent presence in their bodies. We then show how Reiki energy resisted the initial definitions and expectations of it, leading participants to redefine the energy's qualities and develop new practices to accommodate its emerging capacities. These findings support theoretical claims about humans' ability to “do mind” for nonhuman objects and the temporally emergent qualities of material agency.
Article
The article describes the gender features revealed by the investigations of interactions of owners of cats and dogs. The most part of the article is devoted to a review of domestic and foreign publications on this topic; also there is described the results of focused interviews, where author participated. It is revealed that in interactions in the dyad owner-animal is important both biological sex and gender features. Women use more verbal component in the interaction, and more emphasize the role of care and empathy in interactions. Men more emphasize the role of the animal as a partner in joint activities.
Article
Social studies of agriculture tend to overlook the micro and symbolic interactions that structure relationships among agriculturalists, the environment, and animals raised as commodities. In this study, I use ethnographic methods and in-depth interviews with conventional beef producers to understand their perceptions of the environment and the nonhuman animals they raise. Central themes in this setting are the ethics of stewardship and husbandry. I seek to understand how these values are constructed and used interactionally. I argue that stewardship and husbandry help describe a process of co-constitution that binds together ranchers, cattle, and the natural environment. The analysis engages actor-network theory by emphasizing nonhuman activeness and draws from symbolic interaction and cultural sociology to show how people interpret the actions of nonhumans. The findings show that ranchers frame their relationships with cattle and the environment as symbiotic and work to understand the interests of the nonhuman as complementary to production. I introduce the term symbiotic ideology to show the way this approach mystifies power dynamics embedded in the ethic of dominion.
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Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) have been showing significant results in human health promotion. This study aimed to develop and present validity evidence of the Children-Dog Interaction Scale (CDIS) for the Brazilian population. Items were developed and evaluated by experts. Parents of children between 2 and 12 years old (n = 118) completed the CDIS and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Exploratory Factor Analysis generated two dimensions: Affective Interactions (23 items, α = .89) and Educational and Punitive Interactions (8 items, α = .65) between children and dogs. The significant correlations between CDIS and SDQ dimensions indicated that the interaction between children and dogs could be a significant variable for assessing children's behavioral problems. We concluded that CDIS is a valid and reliable instrument to assess children-dog interactions and screen children for IAA participation.
Chapter
My own (Chris Blazina) interest in the bond between man and dog is longstanding, tracing its origins to my youth. When my family’s little house was filled with ten or more people, and felt particularly cramped, I would take a seat on the back steps and talk things over with our gentle German shepherd.
Chapter
In this chapter, we review social psychological literature on gender and race. We provide an overview of how three key social psychological theories – social exchange, social cognition, and symbolic interaction – have addressed gender, race, and their intersections. We then discuss prevailing social psychological methodological techniques and their implications for research on the dynamics of gender and race. We argue that the methods social psychologists employ may advance and/or constrain the questions about gender and race that can be explored. We conclude by locating research on gender and race in current and possible future trends shaping the field of social psychology. We argue that the future social psychology of gender and race will reflect cultural and demographic shifts in these systems, the continuing destabilization of the categories of gender and race, and technological advances that facilitate new methodological and theoretical approaches to gender and race, as well as other systems of societal inequalities.
Chapter
From the time I (Chris Blazina) began my career as a psychologist, I knew it would be difficult to reach the men I sought to help. As a general rule, males in North America have very negative attitudes about seeking support. I might even go so far as to say the same men struggle with a “crisis of connection,” which equates to a number of challenges, such as the difficulty in making and sustaining connections with others. It also involves mistaking self-reliance for total self-sufficiency and pressure to keep vulnerability firmly in check. A significant percentage of American men endorse some form of these traditional male norms or at least have familiarity with them. One troubling aspect of this prevalence is many men believe they are just fulfilling the requirements of mature masculinity.
Chapter
It is evident that animal companions have a deep capacity for acceptance, adoration, attention, forgiveness, and unconditional love, thus, satisfying some of our greatest human needs. Pets also help humans to overcome or prevent a sense of isolation that is frequently experienced due to life struggles.
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We draw on public observations conducted in a zoo to identify three instances in which adults make use of its specific spatial and symbolic resources to transmit socialization messages to children according to “naturalized” models of hegemonic gender difference. First, adults attribute gender to zoo animals by projecting onto them human characteristics associated with feminine and masculine stereotypes. Second, adults mobilize zoo exhibits as props for modeling their own normative gender displays in the presence of children. Third, adults discipline boys and girls differently in the context of the zoo’s built environment, and in doing so, they communicate socialization messages to children regarding how to behave in conventionally gendered ways. In emphasizing the context of the zoo as a site for the naturalization of gender categories, we identify how adults transmit gender socialization messages to children that promote gender stereotypes associated with the biological determinism of the natural living world.
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Animal foster homes (AFHs) provide shelter for abandoned animals and are an essential part of street population management programs. An online survey was conducted in Brazil with questions about general aspects of AFHs. A total of 150 caregivers responded, most were female (n=140; 93.3%) with a mean age of 35.4 years. AFHs in most cases conduct vaccination (n=103; 68.3%), treatment for internal parasites (n=142; 94.7%), external parasites (n=138; 92.0%) and neutering (n=113; 75.3%) to animals in their care. The principal problem for AFHs is finding adopters (n=122; 81.3%) and indeed most caregivers adopted some of the animals under their care (n=129; 86.0%). Although most AFHs reported having no limit on housing time (n=61; 40.7%), there were significant differences between short-term (< 3 months) and long term (>24 months) housing. Long-term AFHs sheltered to more than 20 animals (P<0.05), frequently from the streets (P<0.05). Short-term AFHs offered shelter to fewer than six animals (P<0.05), and generally housed old (P<0.05), chronically ill (P<0.05), amputees (P<0.05), deaf or blind animals (P<0.05) – often at the request of rescue groups (P<0.05). Sheltering fewer (<6) animals guaranteed greater adoptability in a shorter timeframe, thus avoiding kennel stress, overcrowding and potentially reducing the risk of disease outbreaks.
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This article explores how sociolinguistic proximity i.e. different varieties of socially close relationships enacted through speech interaction, is formed with animals in Ibagué, Colombia. It is common to hear that people speak with pets using ‘baby-talk’ or as friends. However, there are a range of registers/stances available to construct different social relationships through speech. Data regarding talk with pets and non-pet domestic animals from a self-report survey with a sample of 500 in the regional Colombian city of Ibagué was analysed using an experimental scale of sociolinguistic proximity devised by the authors. The results show that a variety of different relationships are created in speech with both pets and non-pets and that these relationships range from socially close to distant. Factors such as gender, education and owning a pet all affect the sociolinguistic proximity enacted through linguistic interaction with animals, with gender being the most influential of the variables.
Article
According to the literature, as many as 60% of domestic dogs are overweight, whereby obesity is implicated in many serious diseases and hence a reduction of body weight results in a reduced risk of disease. Approximately 32% of reduction diets are unsuccessful in helping dogs to reach their ideal body weight. The likely reasons for this high drop-out rate include, among others, the fear of increased hunger-induced distress or a loss of affection on the part of the pet towards the owner. To alleviate these apprehensions, the use of optical effects that increase the perceived food intake could be useful. To investigate this, a mixed-methods study design was applied and 100 test persons – including dog owners and non-owners – were instructed to fill up 11 separate dog bowls with the same amount of dogfood. The bowls varied in five different variables (total height, upper diameter, angulation of sidewall, volume, and colour). The influence of the shape and colour of the dog bowls in relation to the filling quantity was evaluated. Overall, the body of the inner food bowl – especially its diameter and shape – showed a significant impact on the feeder as the wider the diameter, the more the dog bowl was filled. Moreover, the flatter the sidewall was angulated, the larger the fill-up quantity. Significantly, the volume on its own did not have a significant impact on the feeder. A difference of up to 37.6% in fill quantity resulted depending on the type of dog bowl used. Furthermore, the use of inner cones confused the test persons whereas different colours and the total height of the bowl showed no impact. Dog bowls with a small upper diameter and a steep sidewall – regardless of volume and colour – were filled less by the test persons. This tendency could be useful for adapting the feeding of overweight dogs or those with an increased risk of obesity.
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El objetivo de este artículo es analizar el efecto de los factores intrínsecos y extrínsecos en la intención de compra del amante de los perros (dog lover). Se aplicaron 384 encuestas a personas que aman a los perros (dog lovers) y mediante el spss se hizo el análisis de las variables. Los principales resultados muestran que a pesar de que el interaccionismo simbólico influye, la publicidad ejerce mayor peso en la intención de compra. La principal conclusión es que los factores extrínsecos tienen mayor peso en comparación con los intrínsecos, es posible que esto se deba a la fuerte influencia de la publicidad en el interaccionismo simbólico para la intención de compra del dog lover.
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Men who do 'women's work' have consistently been the butt of jokes, derided for their lack of drive and masculinity. In this eye-opening study, Christine Williams provides a wholly new look at men who work in predominantly female jobs. Having conducted extensive interviews in four cities, Williams uncovers how men in four occupations - nursing, elementary school teaching, librarian ship, and social work - think about themselves and experience their work. Contrary to popular imagery, men in traditionally female occupations do not define themselves differently from men in more traditional occupations. Williams finds that most embrace conventional, masculine values. Her findings about how these men fare in their jobs are also counterintuitive. Rather than being surpassed by the larger number of women around them, these men experience the 'glass escalator effect', rising in disproportionate numbers to administrative jobs at the top of their professions. Williams finds that a complex interplay between gendered expectations embedded in organizations, and the socially determined ideas workers bring to their jobs, contribute to mens' advantages in these occupations. Using a feminist psychoanalytic perspective, Williams calls for more men not only to cross over to women's occupations, but also to develop alternative masculinities that find common ground with traditionally female norms of cooperation and caring. Until the workplace is sexually integrated and masculine and feminine norms equally valued, it will unfortunately remain 'still a man's world'.
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This article focuses on the criteria used by dog owners to define their animals as minded individuals with whom they maintain viable and satisfying social relationships. The discussion is based on field data drawn from a study in a veterinary clinic, interviews with dog owners, and autoethnographic materials compiled by the author as he observed and interacted with his own dogs. Special attention is directed at caretakers' understandings of their dogs' thought processes, emotional experiences, and unique personalities. The significance of investigations of animal-human interaction to enlarging sociological views of mindedness and the construction of social identities is emphasized.
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This article reports a case study of dogs' contributions to interaction and the development of relationships among unacquainted persons. The study examines dynamics of inclusion among dog owners at a public park and is based on participant observation of those processes. That examination reveals that dogs expose their human companions in public places to encounters with strangers, facilitate interaction among the previously unacquainted, and help establish trust among the newly acquainted. It also demonstrates that dogs' participation in public life is of some importance to their human participants.
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Conducted a survey of 120 18–84 yr old adults to investigate the influence of childhood experience with pets (dogs and cats) on an individual's subsequent liking for pets when an adult. Results demonstrate a significant association between S's contact with pet-animals during childhood and the tendency to keep pets, usually of the same species, as an adult. (9 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Our possessions are a major contributor to and reflection of our identities. A variety of evidence is presented supporting this simple and compelling premise. Related streams of research are identified and drawn upon in developing this concept and implications are derived for consumer behavior. Because the construct of extended self involves consumer behavior rather than buyer behavior, it appears to be a much richer construct than previous formulations positing a relationship between self-concept and consumer brand choice.
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The purpose of this article is to advance a new understanding of gender as a routine accomplishment embedded in everyday interaction. To do so entails a critical assessment of existing perspectives on sex and gender and the introduction of important distinctions among sex, sex category, and gender. We argue that recognition of the analytical independence of these concepts is essential for understanding the interactional work involved in being a gendered person in society. The thrust of our remarks is toward theoretical reconceptualization, but we consider fruitful directions for empirical research that are indicated by our formulation.
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Interaction between people and companion animals provides the basis for a model of the self that does not depend on spoken language. Drawing on ethnographic research in an animal shelter as well as interviews and autoethnography, this article argues that interaction between people and animals contributes to human selfhood. In order for animals to contribute to selfhood in the ways that they do, they must be subjective others and not just the objects of anthropomorphic projection. Several dimensions of subjectivity appear among dogs and cats, constituting a “core” self consisting of agency, coherence, affectivity, and history. Conceptualizing selfhood in this way offers critical access to animals' subjective presence and adds to existing interactionist research on relationships between people and animals.
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This research provides a look at men doing gender in the highly feminized context of temporary clerical employment. Male clerical temporaries, as with other men who cross over into “women's work,” face institutionalized challenges to their sense of masculinity. In particular, male clerical temporary workers face gender assessment—highlighting their failure to live up to the ideals of hegemonic masculinity. The resulting gender strategies these men adopt reveal how male clerical temporary workers “do masculinity”—often in a collaborative performance shaped by the gendered expectations of their agencies, their clients, and even themselves—to reassert the feminine identification of the job while at the same time rejecting its application to them. Paradoxically, rather than disrupting the gender order, the gender strategies used by these male clerical temporaries help to reproduce and naturalize the gendered organization of work and reinvigorate hegemonic masculinity and its domination over women and subaltern men.
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Symbolic interactionism and other sociological perspectives traditionally have not attended to a significant form of close relationship—that which exists between people and the companion animals with whom they share their everyday lives. After a brief presentation of a portion of the relevant literature that deals with how humans understand and interact with their animal companions, I present the process by which caretakers come to define the unique identities of their animals and the ways in which the human-animal couple identity shapes public interaction. Since play, mutual gaze, and “speaking for” animals are key elements of friendly human-animal interaction, I discuss these activities as central to the process by which caretakers establish and express intersubjective connections with their animals. Finally, I maintain that attention to human-animal relationships holds promise for advancing an appreciative understanding of how personhood, mind, and culture are constructed in the process of interaction. Of special significance to the broadening of the interactionist perspective is that the understandings and emotional connections that bind people and their animals are created and maintained in the absence of a shared body of linguistic symbols.
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This book provides a portrait of city life as observed by the author in an urban area encompassing two communities--one black, low income, and very poor (with an extremely high infant mortality rate) and the other racially mixed but becoming increasingly middle-to-upper income and white. It explores the dilemma of both Blacks and Whites, the ghetto poor and the middle class, who are caught up in the new struggle not only for common ground--prime real estate in a racially changing neighborhood--but for a shared moral community. The author shows that by living in the area, diverse residents often become increasingly familiar with one another, wise to the ways of the streets, and more adept at maneuvering in the urban environment. Specific areas examined include the impact of drugs within the community, sex codes and family life among the youth, street etiquette and wisdom, and the unique difficulties and attitudes associated with and towards the black male. An appendix provides some demographic variables from the urban community including housing, family income, and educational trends. Contains more than 150 references and an index. (GLR)
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A Pets as Therapy [PAT] program was initiated in a women's prison to train companion dogs for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. The effect on the trainers was studied using an established depression scale and a self-esteem inventory. Results showed significant group changes in both these areas.
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Examined the possibilities for matching pets to owners' personality-types for physical and psychosocial benefits. It was hypothesized that self-identified dog- and cat-lovers would show significant differences on autonomy, dominance, nurturance, and aggression scales of the EPPS. 223 adults completed an experimenter-designed questionnaire and all of the specific Edwards Schedule A questions. The Scheffé test showed that male (M) cat-lovers were higher and all pet-lovers were lower in autonomy, that M pet- and dog-lovers were higher and female (F) cat-lovers were lower in dominance, that F pet-lovers were higher and all cat-lovers were lower in nurturance, and that M dog-lovers were higher and F dog- and cat-lovers were lower in aggression. The demonstrated differences in owner personality should facilitate matching pets and people to maximize the physical and psycho-social therapeutic benefits of pet ownership. (42 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In this book a leading theorist on sex and gender discusses how hidden assumptions embedded in our cultural discourses, social institutions, and individual psyches perpetuate male power and oppress women and sexual minorities. Sandra Lipsitz Bem argues that these assumptions, which she calls the lenses of gender, shape not only perceptions of social reality but also the more material things—like unequal pay and inadequate daycare—that constitute social reality itself. Her . . . examination of these hidden cultural lenses enables us to look at them rather than through them and to better understand recent debates on gender and sexuality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Asserts that the use of companion animals or pets is gaining popularity as a therapeutic approach for older patients living alone, and also in such clinical settings as nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. Benefits of human–animal bonding include a positive physiological effect on the heart, a reduced need for medication, and assistance for persons with disabilities. These pets also give love and friendship that boosts morale and raises the self-esteem of their disabled masters. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Previous research has examined the use of others as props for impression management (e.g., presidents' use of first ladies), but has left many areas underexplored, including the role of nonadults as important associates. This article focuses on the unacknowledged role of children's appearances in the maintenance of identities and management of impressions for their mothers. Using both participant observation of a playgroup and interviews with mothers of young children, the research described here investigates what these mothers think about children's clothing, mothers' concerns about when-and with whom-to manage impressions, and the impressions these women hope they portray through the physical appearance of their children. In addition to providing insight about these phenomena, the article also discusses responses surrounding the importance of first impressions, differences in meanings attached to children's spoiled appearances, and the sacrifices made in motherhood. Results show that women do use well-dressed and groomed children to enact and confirm identities as "good mothers" and to protect and enhance their own self-concepts during the course of everyday social interaction.
Book
'Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.' In The Theory of the Leisure Class Thorstein Veblen sets out 'to discuss the place and value of the leisure class as an economic factor in modern life'. In so doing he produced a landmark study of affluent American society that exposes, with brilliant ruthlessness, the habits of production and waste that link invidious business tactics and barbaric social behaviour. Veblen's analysis of the evolutionary process sees greed as the overriding motive in the modern economy; with an impartial gaze he examines the human cost paid when social institutions exploit the consumption of unessential goods for the sake of personal profit. Fashion, beauty, animals, sports, the home, the clergy, scholars - all are assessed for their true usefulness and found wanting. The targets of Veblen's coruscating satire are as evident today as they were a century ago, and his book still has the power to shock and enlighten. Veblen's uncompromising arguments and the influential literary force of his writing are assessed in Martha Banta's Introduction.
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In this lively critical analysis, Diane Barthel reveals the previously overlooked and underestimated depth of cultural meaning behind contemporary American advertising. Focusing mainly on ads for beauty products directed at women, she demonstrates how stereotypical gender identities are emphasized and how advertising itself creates a gendered relationship with the consumer. She explores psychological, sociological, and cultural messages in advertising to show how "Putting on Appearances" is anything but a purely personal matter, and how the social realities in which we are forced to live are conditioned by the personal appearances we choose to create. Most advertisements are not sexually obvious, but rely instead on sexual story-telling in which seduction, deception, and passion are portrayed as acceptable means for achieving selfhood. Advertisements that proclaim, "Now is the time to paint your knees" speak with one form of authority: those that present the voice of the all-knowing scientist or the nurturing mother rely on others. Celebrities figure as professional beauties and wise older sisters, sharing their secrets with the consumer. "The Gentle Treatment Great Model Search Made Me a Star. Now it s your turn." Inseparable from the clothes we wear and the products we use are our ideas and fantasies about our bodies. Beauty products present beauty rituals as transcendent occasions, and diet products call up religious imagery of guilt and salvation. The body itself is to be anxiously manipulated and systematically worked over until the consumer "turns her body into...an advertisement for herself, a complicated sign to be read and admired." In the series "Women in the Political Economy.
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A comprehensive, humane, and bemused tour of the dog-human relationship, Dog's Best Friend combines anecdote, research, and reportage to illuminate our complex rapport with our cherished canine companions. Tracking our national obsession with an animal that now outnumbers children in American households, Mark Derr chronicles the evolution of "the culture of the dog" from the prehistoric domestication of tamed wolves to the modern horrors of overbreeding and inbreeding. Passionate about his subject and intent on sharing his zeal, Derr defends dogs with wit and flare, producing here a quirky, informative, and fitting tribute to our love affair with canines big and small.
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Adults' attitudes toward pets were related to their ages when they had their first pets and the bonds they formed with their most important pets. Contemporary pet attitudes were more strongly related to childhood bonding scores than contemporary bonding scores. Adults' contemporary attitudes toward pets were positively correlated with their retrospective childhood Companion Animal Bonding scores. The Companion Animal Semantic Differential pet attitude measures were also most positive for those who had a first pet when they were younger than 6 yr. and least positive for those who had a first pet when they were over 10 yr. old. The childhood bonding scores were more predictive of contemporary pet attitudes than contemporary bonding scores. No significant differences were found between pet owners and nonowners.
The Feminization of Love What Kind of Mother Am I? Impression Management and the Social Construction of Motherhood
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Cancian, Francesca M. 2000. " The Feminization of Love. " Pp. 312–23 in The Gendered Society Reader, edited by M. S. Kimmel. New York: Oxford University Press. Collett, Jessica L. 2005. " What Kind of Mother Am I? Impression Management and the Social Construction of Motherhood. " Symbolic Interaction 28:327–47.
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Goffman, Erving. 1959. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Doubleday Anchor Books. ———. 1979. Gender Advertisements. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Le Pratique Sauvage: Race, Place, and the Human-Animal Divide
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Elder, Glen, Jennifer Wolch, and Jody Emel. 1998. " Le Pratique Sauvage: Race, Place, and the Human-Animal Divide. " Pp. 72–90 in Animal Geographies: Place, Politics, and Identity in the Nature-Culture Borderlands, edited by J. Wolch and J. Emel. New York: Verso.
Pets and Their People
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Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond between People and Dogs
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Impression Management: The Self-Concept, Social Identity, and Interper-sonal Relations
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Constructing the Animal Worlds of Inner-City Los Angeles
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Wolch, Jennifer, Alec Brownlow, and Unna Lassiter. 2000. " Constructing the Animal Worlds of Inner-City Los Angeles. " Pp. 71–97 in Animal Spaces, Beastly Places: New Geographies of Human-Animal Relations, edited by C. Philo and C. Wilbert. New York: Routledge.
Friendships among Men: Closeness in the Doing
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Inman, Chris. 2000. " Friendships among Men: Closeness in the Doing. " Pp. 95–110 in Gendered Relationships, edited by J. T. Wood. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.
Regarding Animals Putting on Appearances: Gender and Ad v ertising Possessions and the Extended Self
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Friendships among Women: Closeness in Dialogue
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Worlds of Friendship The Lenses of Gender: Transforming the Debate on Sexual Inequality Man and Dog: The Psychology of a Friendship Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Sub v ersion of Identity
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Man and Dog: The Psychology of a Friendship
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Worlds of Friendship
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Gender and Friendship
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