The conventional trilogy of social domination, of class, 'race' and gender has been challenged by new concerns around other distinctions – of place and location, age and generation, sexuality and forms of embodied difference. Despite these important developments, sociology has mostly stopped short at the difference of species. Erika Cudworth draws on various traditions of critical theorizing in sociology and animal studies in arguing that the social is not exclusively human and that species should be understood as a complex system of social domination which is co-constituted with intra-human social dominations.
This understanding of species as a social system of relations is exemplified through three case studies: the eating of animals as food, the rearing of animals in industrial agriculture and the keeping of animals as companions. These sites reveal ways in which relations of species domination shape the lives both of humans, and of domesticated animals. Social Lives with Other Animals is a critical sociology of species which takes us beyond theories of speciesism or anthropocentricity and presents a necessary challenge to the power relations in the social formations of species.
- Of Humans and Other Animals
- Relations, Power and the Limitations of 'Speciesism'
- Beyond Speciesism: Theorizing Difference and Dominion
- Sex: Carnal Desire and the Eating of Animals
- Death: Killing Animals and Making Meat
- Love: Stories from the Lives of Companion Species
- Difference and Domination Revisited
Erika Cudworth Senior Lecturer in International Politics and Sociology at the University of East London, UK. She is author of Environment and Society, Developing Ecofeminist Theory: The Complexity of Difference and co-author of The Modern State: Theories and Ideologies and Posthuman International Relations.
"This is a fascinating exploration of how relations between human and other animals are structured by power and the extreme consequences of human domination for non-human animals, particularly those which are domesticated and farmed as potential foodstuffs. The author insists on the importance of a sociological analysis of human-other animal relations, engaging both theoretically and empirically with an impressive array of evidence [...] The book makes an invaluable contribution to understanding and changing the way humans and other animals live together on this small planet."
– Nickie Charles, Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender, University of Warwick, UK