Sociology 300
Fall 2019
Monday/Wednesday 8:30am – 10:20am

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 encouraging you to think about assigned material in advance of class and to facilitate rich discussions, you are to post on Blackboard in advance of the class meetings indicated on the schedule below.

To be eligible for full credit, please post your reading response no later than 9pm the night before the date we’ll be discussing the material you wrote about. That deadline will enable me to read your posts and draw upon your ideas in our discussions.  I will give partial credit for reading responses posted after 9pm the night before, and no credit for posts made once class begins.

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, but 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:

40%       Reading responses
20%       Midterm paper (see Monday Oct 14th for link)
20%       Final paper (see Tuesday December 17th for link)
20%       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.

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:

By taking this class, you agree to abide by Framingham State University’s policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity. The University is dedicated to providing educational, working, and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people. The Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (“MCRA,” M.G.L. c. 12, §§ 11H11I11J) protects the rights of all residents of and visitors to Massachusetts to be free from bias-motivated threats, intimidation, and coercion that interfere with their civil rights. The MCRA protects the right to attend school, live peacefully, and enjoy other basic rights.

HOW WE THINK ABOUT AND CATEGORIZE ANIMALS

Wednesday, September 4th

Overview of the course

Monday, 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.

*DUE: Reading response #1

Wednesday, September 11th

*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. ***If you don’t yet have the book, you can access the two chapters below.

*DUE: Reading response #2

Monday, 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
. ***If you don’t yet have the book, you can access the two chapters below.

*DUE: Reading response #3

Wednesday, September 18th

*WATCH: “Temple Grandin – The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow” 

*READ: *** Only Pp. 1-20 are essential…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: *** Only Pp. 52-57 are essential…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.

Monday, September 23rd

*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.

*DUE: Reading response #4

*SCREENED IN CLASS: Carl Safina: What Are Animals Thinking and Feeling?”

EXPOSING THE SYSTEM OF ANIMAL AGRICULTURE

Wednesday, September 25th

*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.”

*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.

*DUE: Reading response #5

Monday, September 30th

No class – Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, October 2nd

*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.

Monday, October 7th

*READ: Melanie Joy, Melanie Joy, “The Mythology of Meat: Justifying Carnism” and “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.

*OPTIONAL EXTRA CREDIT: See details on Blackboard

*GUEST: Vallary Lokre — Animal rights activist

Wednesday, October 9th

No class – Yom Kippur

Monday, October 14th

No class – Columbus Day

Wednesday, October 16th

DUE: Reading response #6

Monday, October 21st*

*SCREENED IN CLASS: Bruce Friedrich, “The Next Global Agricultural Revolution”

*DUE: Reading response #7

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LIVING WITH PETS

Wednesday, October 23rd

*READ: Jessica Pierce, “Is Your Pet Lonely and Bored?” New York Times, May 7, 2016.

*READ: Hal Herzog, Pp. 67-68, 72-74, and 75-78 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

Monday, October 28th

*READ: Lisa Wood, “Our Pets Strengthen Neighborhood Ties.” The Conversation, June 28, 2017.

Wednesday, October 30th

*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.

*DUE: Reading response #8

Monday, November 4th

*DUE: Reading response #9

ANIMALS AS HEALERS

Wednesday, November 6th

*WATCH: “Unexpected Miracles: Horses Healing Humans”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnOgqyR9kr8

*READKarin Brulliard, “Therapy Animals are Everywhere: Proof that They Help is Not.” Washington Post, July 2, 2017.

*DUE: Reading response #10

Monday, November 11th

No class – Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 13th

*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.

*DUE: Reading response #11

*SCREENED IN CLASS: “Dogs on the Inside” (67 minutes)

ANIMALS AS OBJECTS OF CURIOSITY

Monday, November 18th

*NO READING!

*SCREENED IN CLASS: John Mooallem, “The Strange Story of the Teddy Bear and What it Reveals.”

Wednesday, November 20th

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

*DUE: Reading response #12

GUEST: Brandi Van Roo, Biology Department

Monday, November 25th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “Blackfish”

Wednesday, November 27th

No class – Thanksgiving break

Monday, December 2nd

No class – Snow day

Wednesday, December 4th

*READ:  Natalie Angier, “Do Gorillas Even Belong in Zoos? Harambe’s Death Spurs Debate.” New York Times, June 6, 2016.

Monday, December 9th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “Unlocking the Cage”

Wednesday, December 11th

*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).

*DUE: Reading response #13