My main research interest is human-animal interaction, especially within interspecies work contexts.
I am currently researching the emergence and upscaling of a novel type of food animal production in Europe and North America: edible insects and invertebrate farming. I am also interested in the pragmatic experiences, attitudes and husbandry practices of 'minilivestock' farmers.
My doctoral thesis (2002) explored the experiences, attitudes and feelings of agricultural workers (e.g. farmers, stockpeople, auctioneers, vets and slaughter workers), and hobby farmers, who worked with commercial and rare breeds of livestock as part of their everyday lives. This research addressed an underexplored and little understood area in contemporary life. It also highlighted the multifaceted, gendered and ambiguous nature of people's practical relations with livestock, which provided an opportunity to gain fresh insights into longstanding debates about the production, and slaughter, of food animals in modern industrialised societies. This work was published in 2010 in the Temple University Press Book Series, Animals, Culture, and Society, edited by Arnold Arluke and Clinton Sanders.
Livestock/Deadstock: Working with Farm Animals from Birth to Slaughter gained two book awards post-publication:
- Winner of the British Sociological Association's Philip Abrams Memorial Prize in April 2011; the prize is awarded for the 'best first sole-authored book within the discipline of Sociology'.
- Award for Distinguished Scholarship in the Animals and Society Section of the American Sociological Association, 2011
- For more information about Livestock/Deadstock see: http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/1908_reg.html
Finally, the 'animal turn' taking place in the social sciences has raised interesting questions as to how, and to what extent, human-animal scholarship might inform, challenge and potentially revise 'mainstream' sociology. Moreover, sociological perspectives also have the potential to inform the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of Human-Animal Studies (HAS). This two-way disciplinary exchange not only provides an opportunity to reflect on key theoretical, methodological and empirical challenges facing those involved in this innovative area of research, it also opens up the possibility of increasingly 'animalising sociology' and 'sociologising HAS'.
Introduction to Sociology 2 (SO 1507)
Humans and Other Animals (SX 1501)
Studying Social Life 2 (SO 2509)
Social Research Methods (SO 3524)
Research Project (SO 4049)
Animals and Society (SO 4065).
Course Coordinator: Animals and Society, Research Project, and Studying Social Life 2
- Further Info
On the Editorial Board of Society and Animals (2006-)
Founding member and convenor of the British Sociological Association Animal/Human Studies Group (i.e. 2006 - present). For more information see: http://www.britsoc.co.uk/specialisms/AHSG.htm
A member of the European Encyclopedia of Animal Welfare Advisory Board: http://eeaw.univie.ac.at/about/
Deputy School Director for Teaching and Learning
Teaching and Learning Representative (Sociology)
Student Recruitment and Retention Committee
Recruitment Officer (Sociology)
Staff/Student Liaison Officer for Sociology
Library Representative for Sociology