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Changing Conceptions of Care Humanization of the Companion Animal-Human Relationship
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
Waltham Ctr Pet Nutr, Waltham, Leics, England..
2016 (English)In: Society and Animals, ISSN 1063-1119, E-ISSN 1568-5306, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 107-128Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

This paper explores the changing nature of companion animal-human relationships in Britain over the past 30 years. This period has seen rapid change in attitudes and practices towards companion animals, with notable advances in medical treatment, nutrition, and understanding of non-human animal behavior, as well as re-evaluations of the position of animals within the home. Based upon in-depth interviews with companion animal caretakers and professionals involved in the companion animal industry, we examined these changes in the United Kingdom. Major themes were identified: Humanization, Commercialization, Medicalization, Responsible Companionship, and Alternative Companionship. These changes have had largely positive effects on companion animal health and welfare, but also bring new expectations of the companion relationship, which humans and nonhuman animals may be unable or unwilling to ful-fill. While dominant discourses of responsible companionship prevail, the process of change is ongoing and reflects emerging trends in human society towards diversification and alternative lifestyles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 24, no 2, p. 107-128
Keyword [en]
companion animals, humanization, commercialization, medicalization, responsible companionship, alternative companionship
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-288637DOI: 10.1163/15685306-12341397ISI: 000372529000001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-288637DiVA: diva2:927143
Available from: 2016-05-11 Created: 2016-04-28 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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