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Lecture 4

ANT376H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Social Reproduction, Emotional Contagion

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Hillary Cunningham

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Lecture 4: The Great Divide/Guest Speaker
Working Bodies and Ethical Subjects (Kendra Coulter) !
-multi-species approach to animal labour
-families, communities, societies = multi-species/inter-species
-animal-centric analyses: anthropological/sociological lens to look at animals as social actors/
agents; co-create meaning with us/on their own
-improve human actions
-animals = social actors and subjects
-towards change/improvement
-drawing lessons/insights/values
-generative -> new ideas, thinking, vocabulary
-work people do with/for animals: daily work and labour processes; advocacy and political
-work done by animals themselves
Animal labour: 3 organizational categories
-subsistence: useful for thinking about wild animals (the most resisted ideas); how they
subsist/make a living/survive; animals have to engage with subsistence labour
-humans have the least involvement/interference in their subsistence/their own work
-social reproduction (reproduce own societies)
i.e. rats -> find shelter, avoid traps/predators, feed, breed, etc.
-voluntary: (specifically in homes) think it’s important/production work/care work - choose
-emotional contagion: dog’s stress levels increase when a person is crying; physically and
psychologically bothered when humans are sad (they can tell when you’re faking)
-will also do it for other animals
i.e. dog barking at the door - protect home
-mandated by humans: (largest category/umbrella concept)
-voluntary and mandated = continuum; task = mandated but how they choose to perform is
-social reproduction: complex way of thinking about unpaid labour usually done in homes
-reproduce people
-tasks -> whole process
-reproducing generations
-usually only applied to humans, but can also be applied to animals (their own ways of
being, relationships, cultures; not born knowing how to be animal - they have to learn)
i.e. elephant mothers teaching baby elephants where to find food, interact with others, reproduce
next generation of elephants/societies
-animals will also help humans with their social reproduction
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