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Humans and other animals: sociology’s moral and intellectual challenge

David Nibert (Department of Sociology, Wittenberg University)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 1 March 2003



Sociology, narrowly defined and almost universally practiced as the study of human society, is limited in its benefits to human animals because it ignores how hegemonically crafted and unjust human social arrangements are intertwined with the oppressive treatment of other animals. This article promotes a wider definition of sociology and its practice, one that includes the lives and experiences of other species. The analysis uses a recrafted minority group theory that highlights the entangled oppression of humans and other animals. A historicalmaterialist reflection on relationships between humans and other animals demonstrates the efficacy of this more inclusive theory. Sociologists must become aware of and engage this wider approach to the study of society in order to understand how social arrangements create oppressive conditions for both humans and other animals and to increase the possibility for the discipline to have substantive impact on deteriorating societal and global conditions.



Nibert, D. (2003), "Humans and other animals: sociology’s moral and intellectual challenge", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 4-25.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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