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Chicken and Deer : Word associations in a rural culture

Lawson, Helenen M (2009) Chicken and Deer : Word associations in a rural culture. In: Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, 16 August 2003 - 16 August 2003, Atlanta Hilton Hotel, Atlanta, GA.

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The interpretation of animals by a rural culture is examined using a demographic –linguistic approach. We enter a traditional world in which animalsare socially constructed according to beliefs generations old. Two hundred sixtyeight respondents were asked to free-associate with the words “chicken” and“deer” when seen in a context of other words related to nature. Their responseswere coded and the frequencies of word groups were tabulated for sub-samples ofdiffering age, gender and occupation. Respondents were re-interviewed to assesstheir personal meanings of the more common or interesting responses. The resultreflected a view that farm or wild animals equate merely to food or hunting. Lesser identifications such as deer with road hazards were also detected andexplored. Except for possibly the very young, the distribution of words used didnot vary with gender, age or occupation. The significance of these observations is discussed.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lawson, Helenen Mlawson@pitt.eduLAWSON
Date: 16 August 2009
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: Allacademic
Place of Publication:
Event Title: Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
Event Dates: 16 August 2003 - 16 August 2003
Event Type: Conference
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
Refereed: No
Official URL:
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2012 16:37
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 18:59


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