Sociology 300
Spring 2018
Tuesday/Friday 12:30pm – 2:20pm

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, 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:

50%       Reading responses
20%       Midterm paper
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 AND CATEGORIZE ANIMALS

Tuesday, January 16th

Overview of the course

Friday, January 19th

*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.

*READING RESPONSE #1 DUE

Tuesday, January 23rd

*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

Friday, January 26th

*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

Tuesday, January 30th

*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

Friday, February 2nd

*WATCH: Carl Safina: What Are Animals Thinking and Feeling?”

Guest visit: Mirari Elkoro, Psychology Department

Tuesday, February 6th

*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.

*READING RESPONSE #5 DUE

Friday, February 9th

*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 #6 DUE

DISSECTING THE MEAT ON OUR PLATES

Tuesday, February 13th

*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.

*READING RESPONSE #7 DUE

Friday, February 16th

*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.

Tuesday, February 20th

*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.

Friday, February 23rd

*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.

*READING RESPONSE #8 DUE

Tuesday, February 27th

Guest visit: Audrey Kali, Communication Arts Department

Thursday, March 1st

Midterm paper due by noon.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: ANIMALS AS PETS

Friday, March 2nd

*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.

*READING RESPONSE #9 DUE

Tuesday, March 6th

*READ: Douglas M. Robins, Clinton R. Sanders, and Spencer E. Cahill, “Dogs and Their People: Pre-Facilitated Action in a Public Setting.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 1991 20(1): 3-25.

*READING RESPONSE #10 DUE

Friday, March 9th

*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 #11 DUE

*** SPRING BREAK ***

Tuesday, March 20th

*NO READING!

Pets in the workplace presentation

Friday, March 23rd

*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 #12 DUE

Tuesday, March 27th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “Dogs on the Inside” (67 minues)

Friday, March 30th

*NO CLASS!

VIEWING WILDLIFE IN A WORLD OF ENDANGERED SPECIES

Tuesday, April 3rd

*READ: John Berger, “Why Look at Animals?” Pp. 3-28 in About Looking. New York: Vintage Books, 1991…***START ON page 17 – two lines from the bottom

*READING RESPONSE #13 DUE

Friday, April 6th

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

*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 #14 DUE

Tuesday, April 10th

*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.

*READING RESPONSE #15 DUE

Friday, April 13th

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

*READING RESPONSE #16 DUE

Tuesday, April 17th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “Blackfish”

Friday, April 20th

*READ: Wes Judd, “Why Do Circus Elephants Get All the Sympathy?” Pacific Standard, March 10, 2015.

*READING RESPONSE #17 DUE

Tuesday, April 24th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “Unlocking the Cage”

Friday, April 27th

*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).

*READING RESPONSE #18 DUE

Tuesday, May 1st

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

Friday, May 4th

Course wrap-up

Wednesday, May 9th

*Final Paper due