Sociology | Community-Based Research
S359 | 25446 | Blouin


Topic: Learning and Doing Sociology:  Human-Animal Relations

In this course students will participate in a sociological exploration
of the relationship between humans and animals.  Animals occupy a
significant position in the lives of many people and are deeply
embedded in the functioning of human societies.  Yet, our relations
with and uses of them are largely unexamined.  Why do many people eat
one kind of animal and cuddle another?  Should animals have rights?
Why and how long have people kept animals as pets?  The course will
address these questions while focusing on the following broader
issues: historical and cultural variations in attitudes toward
animals, animal welfare problems such as pet overpopulation, the
benefits and disadvantages of pet-keeping, and the controversies over
animal rights.  In addition, this course will offer students
first-hand experience Adoing sociology.@  Along with class meetings
and assigned readings, students will learn about sociology and
human-animal relations by conducting sociological research.  The class
will be collaborating with the Monroe County Humane Association and
local animal shelter to design and carry out a study of local county
residents= attitudes and behaviors regarding their dogs and cats.  The
research will be designed to help improve local efforts to curb pet
overpopulation.

Students will help design this research project, collect the data, and
write reports that analyze the data collected.