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Holy bonsai wolves: chihuahuas and the Paris Hilton syndrome
Mälardalens högskola, Hälsa och välfärd. (HumAnimal Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9902-1191
2014 (English)In: International journal of cultural studies, ISSN 1367-8779, E-ISSN 1460-356X, Vol. 17, no 1, 93-109 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 This article examines the reasons for the Chihuahua breed’s popularity in contemporary westernsociety by looking at two sets of data: Chihuahua handbooks and The Simple Life show, starringParis Hilton and her Chihuahua Tinkerbell. The article argues that the Chihuahua is a holy anomaly:a creature which can be used in myths and rituals to temporarily alleviate the tension-filled binaryoppositions and stereotypes inherent in a particular culture, in order to celebrate and reinforcethat culture’s categories and social order. The Chihuahua – or the bonsai wolf – transcendstwo binary oppositions fundamental to contemporary westerners: subject/object and nature/culture. Although the Chihuahua challenges a number of related binary oppositions, it is generallydismissed as a matter for humor, low-brow entertainment or expressions of sentimentality,rendering ritual encounters with Chihuahuas harmless. The article concludes by asking: whatwould happen if humans actually started listening to what the Chihuahua is telling them?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications , 2014. Vol. 17, no 1, 93-109 p.
Keyword [en]
animal–human relations, anomalies, binary oppositions, chihuahuas, dichotomies, dogs, Donna Haraway, Paris Hilton, hudographies, humor, popular culture
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-261559DOI: 10.1177/1367877912464539ISI: 000328600100006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-261559DiVA: diva2:850686
Available from: 2014-11-28 Created: 2015-09-01 Last updated: 2017-12-04

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Publisher's full texthttp://ics.sagepub.com/content/17/1/93.abstract

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Redmalm, David

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