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To make pets live, and to let them die: The biopolitics of pet keeping
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Cultural Matters Group, HumAnimal Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9902-1191
2019 (English)In: Death Matters: Cultural Sociology of Mortal Life / [ed] Tora Holmberg, Annika Jonsson, Fredrik Palm, London: Palgrave Macmillan , 2019, 1, p. 241-263Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Pets are often considered to be friends or part of the nuclear family, and many pets are grieved when they die. But pets are also routinely bred in abundance, bought, sold, and euthanized when they are unwanted. The aim of this chapter is to suggest a way of understanding pet keeping in the light of pets’ paradoxical status between “grievable” and “killable.” It argues that the ambiguous conceptualization of the pet as an irreplaceable individual and as a consumable resource corresponds to a biopolitical rationale for breeding, buying, selling and killing pets. The chapter suggests that pet keeping can be regarded as a demarcated zone where biopolitical norms surrounding life and death can be played with, managed and reproduced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Palgrave Macmillan , 2019, 1. p. 241-263
Keywords [en]
Giorgio Agamben, animal studies, bereavement, biopolitics, biopower, Judith Butler, cats, companion animals, consumption, disciplinary power, dogs, Michel Foucault, grief, human-animal studies, pets, posthumanism, subject position, subjectification, subjectivity
National Category
Sociology Philosophy Social Anthropology
Research subject
Sociology; Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-388321ISBN: 978-3-030-11484-8 (print)ISBN: 978-3-030-11485-5 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-388321DiVA, id: diva2:1332299
Projects
Intimitetens sociala former
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-1465Available from: 2019-06-28 Created: 2019-06-28 Last updated: 2019-06-28

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Redmalm, David

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