This course explores animals within the context of the functional relationships that sociologists call “institutions.” We first examine the use of animals in laboratory science. We then examine the controversial transformation of animals into “livestock” and "meat." We also explore the perspectives of people committed to rejecting the construction and use of animals as food. Next, we focus on some of the roles of animals in human entertainment with particular attention to dog fighting and zoos. Finally, we investigate animal health and welfare through the lens of dilemmas in veterinary medicine and decisions in animal shelters.
About this Course
Skills you will gain
University of Colorado Boulder
CU-Boulder is a dynamic community of scholars and learners on one of the most spectacular college campuses in the country. As one of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), we have a proud tradition of academic excellence, with five Nobel laureates and more than 50 members of prestigious academic academies.
About the Animals and Society Specialization
Animals matter for human existence in so many ways that it is difficult to imagine the entity we call “society” without them. They figure heavily in our language, food, clothing, family structure, economy, education, entertainment, science, recreation, and other areas of social life. In this specialization, we will investigate a range of topics, many of them controversial. Although this is a sociology course, the field of human-animal studies is interdisciplinary. Many of the suggested readings come from fields outside of sociology, but this specialization emphasizes their sociological relevance throughout each course.
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