Issue 1/2018, 114. Volume Page 51–68
The Animal as a Perspective
European Ethnology and Human-Animal Studies
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The paper deals with the theoretical offers in the field of human-animal studies with regard to their benefits for European-ethnological research. Human-animal studies explore human-animal relationships as socio-cultural phenomena of practical everyday negotiations and deconstruct proven concepts of social, cultural and historical research. They think of animals as a heuristic category and focal point for sociocultural, economic and political processes and accentuate the ethical dimension of human-animal relations in historical change. Human-animal studies consider animals not only as objects of research but rather as research-guiding perspective. They move them from the periphery to the center of scientific interest. The practice-theoretical, language-analytical, network-theoretical, political and social-analytical approaches presented here are discussed using the example of animal slaughter and economic animal use in the 19th and early 20th century. The analysis of this neglected field of research can provide insights into the processes of overall modernization of working worlds and open up new perspectives on historical cultural analyzes. Relating to the theories negotiated in human-animal studies, the article concludes with an outlook on the possibilities of creating a dialogue between European Ethnology and Ethology.
Human-Animal Studies, modernization, agency, network, emergence, ethics, language, ethology, biopolitics, practice, emotion