Sociology 300
Fall 2016
Tuesday/Friday 12:30pm – 2:20pm
Dwight 305

Office: O’Connor 336
Office Hours: Mon/Wed 10:30 – 12:30 or by appointment
Phone: (508) 626-4864
E-mail: isilver@framingham.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Why do we love some animals yet despise others? Why do people who salivate over hot dogs consider it unthinkable to eat their own puppy? This course explores the roles non-human animals play in our lives. We consider the social origins of our attitudes toward other species, as well as how we balance the idea that animals exist for our benefit with the notion of animal rights.

READINGS:

There are two books to purchase. They are available at the campus bookstore and can also be found online:

Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010.

Melanie Joy, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. San Francisco: Conari Press, 2010.

All other readings are linked below on the syllabus.

*Please bring assigned readings to class. For those that are online, either print them or access them electronically in class via your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

READING RESPONSES:

As a way of facilitating rich discussions, you are to post on Blackboard in advance of most classes. The dates when a reading response is due are listed on the schedule below.

Please post no later than 7am on the due date. I will not give full credit for late posts, and will give no credit for posts made after 12pm. Your write-up should have two parts:

  1. A 2-3 paragraph critique of the reading, which differs from a summary. Whereas a summary highlights main points in the reading, a critique takes the discussion in a direction of your choosing. It explores themes or issues the reading raised for you. There are several ways you can frame your critique.
    — Something you found interesting and why.
    — Something you found confusing and why.
    — An important topic left unexplored.
    — Strengths/weaknesses of a study’s methodology.
    — How a concept or idea applies to your own life.
  2. Raise 2 or more questions for our class discussion. These should not be “yes/no” questions but instead “how” or “why” questions, since these generate more discussion.

ATTENDANCE:

I understand sometimes there are justifiable reasons for missing a class. However, if you miss more than two it will affect your grade. If you have to be absent, please let me know. There is no need to give me a doctor’s note. It is your responsibility to catch up on material you missed.

GRADING AND EVALUATION:

Your final grade will be based on the following:

60%       Reading responses
10%       Group leading of one class discussion
20%       Final paper
10%       Class attendance and participation

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

Given the Sociology Department’s commitment to maintaining the highest academic standards, students should be aware of the University’s policies concerning academic honesty, which are stated in the undergraduate catalog: “Integrity is essential to academic life. Consequently, students who enroll at Framingham State University agree to maintain high standards of academic honesty and scholarly practice. They shall be responsible for familiarizing themselves with the published policies and procedures regarding academic honesty.” Infractions include plagiarism, cheating on exams and quizzes, unauthorized collaboration with other students, and submitting work in more than one course for academic credit without prior approval of the instructor. The FSU Catalog defines plagiarism as “claiming as one’s own work the published or unpublished literal or paraphrased work of another.” Penalties for academic dishonesty may include receiving a failing grade for the course, academic suspension, and dismissal from the University.

HOW WE THINK ABOUT ANIMALS

Fri, September 2nd

Course overview

Tues, September 6th

*READ: Arnold Arluke, “Our Animals, Ourselves,” Contexts 2010  9(3): 34-39.

*READ: Hal Herzog, “The Importance of Being Cute.” Pp. 37-65 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

*READ: Richard Conniff, “Useless Creatures.” New York Times, September 13, 2014.

*READING RESPONSE #1 DUE

Fri, September 9th

*READ: Marvin Harris, “Dogs, Cats, Dingoes, and Other Pets.” Pp. 175-98 in Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985.

*READING RESPONSE #2 DUE

Tues, September 13th

*READ: Melanie Joy, “To Love or to Eat?” and “Carnism: It’s Just the Way Things Are.” Pp. 11-35 in Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. San Francisco: Conari Press, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

*READING RESPONSE #3 DUE

Fri, September 16th

*READ: Hal Herzog, “The Moral Status of Mice: The Use of Animals in Science.” Pp. 205-35 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

*READING RESPONSE #4 DUE

Tues, September 20th

*READ: Hal Herzog, “The Cats in Our Houses, The Cows on Our Plates.” Pp. 237-62 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

*READING RESPONSE #5 DUE

THE FACTORY FARMING OF MEAT

Fri, September 23rd

*READ: Melanie Joy, “The Way Things Really Are.” Pp. 37-72 in Why We Love Dogs… This is one of the books required for purchase.

*WATCH: At least one of the videos here – found within “Investigations” at the top (You can still access “Investigations” even though the link I’ve provided may take you to a page that says “We’re sorry but this page has moved.”

*READING RESPONSE #6 DUE

Tues, September 27th

*READ: Melanie Joy, Collateral Damage: The Other Casualties of Carnism.” Pp. 73-93 in Why We Love Dogs… This is one of the books required for purchase.

*READING RESPONSE #7 DUE

Fri, September 30th

*READ: Melanie Joy, Melanie Joy, “The Mythology of Meat: Justifying Carnism,” “Through the Carnistic Looking Glass: Internalized Carnism,” and “Bearing Witness: From Carnism to Compassion.” Pp. 95-150 in Why We Love Dogs… This is one of the books required for purchase.

*READING RESPONSE #8 DUE

Tues, October 4th

No class – Rosh Hashanah

Fri, October 7th

*READ: Temple Grandin, “My Story.” Pp. 1-26 in Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior. New York: Scribner, 2005.

*READ: Temple Grandin, “How Animals Perceive the World.” Pp. 27-67 in Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior. New York: Scribner, 2005.

*READING RESPONSE #9 DUE

Tues, October 11th

*READ: Catherine Friend, “Can a Carnivore Be Compassionate?” Pp. 15-21 in The Compassionate Carnivore. Philadelphia: Da Capo Press, 2008.

*READ: Vasile Stanescu, “Crocodile Tears, Compassionate Carnivores, and the Marketing of ‘Happy Meat.’” Pp. 216-33 in Critical Animal Studies. Edited by John Sorenson. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2014.

*READ: James McWilliams, “Killing What You Eat: The Dark Side of Compassionate Carnivorism.” Freakonomics Blog, September 20, 2011.

*READING RESPONSE #10 DUE

*Audrey Kali, Professor of Communication Arts who is making a film about compassionate carnivorism, will be our guest.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: ANIMALS AS PETS

Fri, October 14th

*READ: Hal Herzog, “Pet-O-Philia: Why Do Humans (And Only Humans) Love Pets?” and “Friends, Foes, and Fashion Statements.” Pp. 67-128 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

*READING RESPONSE #11 DUE

Tues, October 18th

*READ: Lisa Sarmicanic, “Goffman, Pets, and People.” ReVision 2004 27(2): 42-47.

*READ: Lisa J. Wood et al, “More Than a Furry Companion: The Ripple Effect of Companion Animals on Neighborhood Interactions and Sense of Community.” Society & Animals 2007 15: 43-56.

*READING RESPONSE #12 DUE

Fri, October 21st

*READ: Benedict Carey, “Emotional Power Broker of the Modern Family.” New York Times, March 14, 2011.

*READ: David D. Blouin, “Are Dogs Children, Companions, or Just Animals? Understanding Variations in People’s Orientations toward Animals.” Anthrozoos 2913 26(2): 279-94.

*READING RESPONSE #13 DUE

Tues, October 25th

*READ: Amy Fitzgerald, “‘They Gave Me a Reason to Live’: The Protective Effects of Companion Animals on the Suicidality of Abused Women.” Humanity & Society 2007 31:355–78.

*READ: Leslie Irvine, “Animals as Lifechangers and Lifesavers: Pets in the Redemption Narratives of Homeless People.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 2013 42(1) 3–30.

*READING RESPONSE #14 DUE

Fri, October 28th

No Reading!

*SHOWN IN CLASS: “Dogs on the Inside”

Tues, November 1st

No Reading!

*SHOWN IN CLASS: “The Elephant in the Living Room”

VIEWING WILDLIFE IN A WORLD OF ENDANGERED SPECIES

Fri, November 4th

*READ: John Berger, “Why Look at Animals?” Pp. 3-28 in About Looking. New York: Vintage Books, 1991…***START ON P. 12 – two lines from the bottom

*READING RESPONSE #15 DUE

Tues, November 8th

*READ: Jo Anne Young, Pp. 7-10 and 26-30 in “Animal Viewing in Postmodern America: A Case Study of the Yellowstone Wolf Watchers.” Masters Thesis, Montana State University, 2007.

*READING RESPONSE #16 DUE

Fri, November 11th

No class – Veterans Day

Tues, November 15th

No class – I need to go to a funeral.

Fri, November 18th

*READ: Jon Mooallem, “Billy Possums.” Pp. 52-74 in Wild Ones. New York: Penguin, 2013.

*READ: Frank Zelko, “From Blubber and Baleen to Buddha of the Deep: The Rise of the Metaphysical Whale.” Society & Animals 2012 20: 91-108.

*READING RESPONSE #17 DUE

Tues, November 22nd

*READ: John Knight, “Making Wildlife Viewable: Habituation and Attraction.” Society & Animals 2009 17(2): 167-84.

*READ: Helen MacDonald, “Shooting a Lion.” New York Times Magazine. October 8, 2015.

*READ: Daniel Duane, “The Unnatural Kingdom.” New York Times, March 16, 2016.

*READING RESPONSE #18 DUE

Fri, November 25th

No class – Thanksgiving break

Tues, November 29th

No Reading!

*SHOWN IN CLASS: “Blackfish”

Fri, December 2nd

*READ: Warwick Frost, “Zoos as Tourist Attractions: Theme Parks, Protected Areas, or Museums?.” Pp. 121-30 in Zoos and Tourism: Conservation, Education, Entertainment. Buffalo, NY: Channel View Publications, 2011.

*READ: Stephen Wearing and Chantelle Jobberns, “Ecotourism and the Commodification of Wildlife: Animal Welfare and the Ethics of Zoos.” Pp. 47-58 in Zoos and Tourism: Conservation, Education, Entertainment. Buffalo, NY: Channel View Publications, 2011.

*READ: Andrew C. Revkin, “After Harambe’s Death, Rethinking Zoos.” New York Times, June 2, 2016.

*READING RESPONSE #19 DUE

Tues, December 6th

*READ: Richard Conniff, “Bright Lights, Big Predators.” New York Times. December 19, 2015.

*READ: Kirsten M. Leong, “The Tragedy of Becoming Common: Landscape Change and Perceptions of Wildlife.” Society & Natural Resources 2009 23:2, 111-127.

*READING RESPONSE #20 DUE

Fri, December 9th

*READ: ”Karen Davis, “The Provocative Elitism of ‘Personhood’ for Nonhuman Creatures in Animal Advocacy Parlance and Polemics.” Journal of Evolution and Technology 2014 24(3).

*READ: Peter Singer, “Open the Cages! New York Review of Books, May 12, 2016.

*READING RESPONSE #21 DUE

Tues, December 13th

Course wrap-up

Tues, December 20th

*Final paper due