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The Meaning of Animals

Lawson, Helene M and Lawson, Lawrence R and Leck, Kira (2005) The Meaning of Animals. Sociological Viewpoints, 21 (Fall). 35 - 52. ISSN 1060-0876

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This research examines the social construction of animals by a rural Allegheny culture using a linguistic approach based on estimating the set of attributes associated with the words they used to describe animals. We asked 268 respondents to free-associate with the nouns, chicken and deer when seen in a context of other words related to nature. Their responses were coded and the frequencies of of words and word groupings were tabulated for sub-samples of differing age, gender and occupation. Response words were categorized into seven typologies including two affective types. The results indicate that except for possibly the very young, the social meanings of chicken and deer did not vary with gender, age or occupation. The respondents interpretation of living chicken was indistinguishable from that of unprepared food. Their interpretation of deer was broader and primarily one of interaction with a lesser adversary.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lawson, Helene Mlawson@pitt.eduLAWSON
Lawson, Lawrence R
Leck, Kirakml2@pitt.eduKML2
Date: 2005
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Sociological Viewpoints
Volume: 21
Number: Fall
Publisher: Pennsylvania Sociological Society
Page Range: 35 - 52
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1060-0876
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2012 15:22
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 18:59


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