Human-Animal Interaction

For this paper you will propose a research project to study some aspect of human – animal interactions related to pets, farm animals, or wildlife (not exotics) from the perspective of one of the following disciplines: sociology, economics, political science, psychology, social work, criminal justice studies, or communications (the study must involve humans; for example, it can’t be strictly on animal behavior). You are only writing a proposal – you do not have to conduct the actual study. The paper will include: 

  • 1 page: Overview = the research question should be clearly stated and bolded or underlined, a brief discussion on why you think this is important, and the social science discipline you’re focusing on
  • 1-2 pages: Methods = a discussion of which research methodology you would use to collect your data and why you think that would be the best way to collect data for your research question. You should also discuss how you would recruit subjects. For example, if you were conducting a study on zoos you may say you would:
    • interview all of the directors of AZA accredited zoos in the U.S.
      (b) have the first 50 people, who were at least 13 years old, that were entering the Columbus Zoo on a given date complete your survey.
      (c) prepare an email letter, with a link to an online survey, that would be sent to all members of the Toledo Zoo
      (d) invite teachers K-12 to participate in focus groups on how they use the Cleveland Zoo, or resources from the zoo, in teaching their students
    • 5-6 pages: Literature Review = should include around 7-10 sources with a minimum of 6 peer reviewed journal articles. Please note: one of the most consistent reasons for points being deducted is for doing an Annotated Bibliography instead of a Lit Review. There are guides to Lit Reviews as well as a sample Lit Review (though you can skip the running head!)
  • 1 page: Role of Theory = Discuss the role that theory could play in you research project. For this section, you do not have to discuss specific theories as I am looking foe general discussion of role that theory may play in your research. You should be thinking this part pf your proposal as addressing the 4th learning objectives.
  • 1-2 pages: Future Research = Pick two of the following four categories: Race, Gender, Social Class, and Location (where you live – for example, suburban, urban, rural) and in 1-2 paragraphs for each category address the following

O Come up with a research question that connects how the category may influence your topic in general.

o For example, if the overall topic is exotic pets and the category is Location, you could ask: Are people who live in countries where tigers are native less likely to keep them as pets?

o Then in a paragraph explain what you think the answer may be and why.

  • You will also have a title page and a bibliography, which is not included in the 10-12 required pages
  • You should use bold headings for each of the five parts of the paper listed above
  • Papers are due the last week of classes – see the course schedule for specific information and the late policy
  • Complete the following in Order
    01: Presentation: Intro Lecture (12:49)
    02: Reading: Introduction to the Social Sciences 02b: Reading: Research and Theory
    1. 03:  Video: Myth of Common Sense (15:14)

  1. 04:  PowerPoint slides: Research Process – go through these slides and click on various links for short videos and readings illustrating concepts and issues
  2. 05:  Presentation: Reading Research (11:20)

Module 2

Introduction to Animal Studies

  • Forum/Discussion: Module 1 and the Social Sciences
  • Complete the following in Order
    1. 01:  Intro to Animals & Society Lecture (14:07)
    2. 02:  Video: Why Animals Have Become a Social Issue (1:02:00)

  1. 03:  Reading: The Role of Economics in Achieving Welfare Gains for Animals
  2. 04:  Reading: The Green Scare
  3. 05:  Readings: Where the Boys Aren’t: The Predominance of Women in Animal

Rights Activism

  • 06a,b,c: Reading: Three short pieces looking at how Sociology, Political Science,
  • and Psychology can approach studying animals

Module 3

  • Forum/Discussion: Module 2 and Introduction to Animal Studies
  • Complete the following in Order

01: Intro Pets Lecture (11:28)
02: Video: Animals Afforded Same Protections as Human Victims (5:10)

03: Reading : Human-animal bonds I: The relational significance of companion animals 04: Reading : My Dog Always Eats First: Homeless People and Their Animals (excerpt) 05: Reading: Examining the links between animal abuse and human violence
06: Video on recent case involving animals and the law

Module 4

Farm Animals

  • Forum/Discussion: Module 3 and Pets
  • Complete the following in Order

01: Intro Farm Animals Presentation

02: Video: Animal factories and the abuse of power: Wayne Pacelle (15:11) Wnt__abA1kciDjA

  1. 03:  Reading: Working Undercover in a Slaughterhouse: an interview with Timothy Pachirat.
  2. 04:  Reading: Excerpt from Pachirat’s book: Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight
  3. 05:  Video: Prop 2 ad (2:00)

  1. 06:  Reading: Food Movement Collection (5 short articles)

Module 5


  • Forum/Discussion: Module 4 and Farm Animals
  • Complete the following in Order

01: Exotic Pets Presentation
02: Reading: Wild Obsession: The debate over owning exotic animals 03: Video: Elephant in the living Room Trailer (2:00)

04: Video: Confessions of a Big Cat Owner (11:34)

05: Zoo Presentation
06: Readings: 4 short articles on zoos
07: Reading: Zoos and Conservation: Policy Making and Organizational Challenges 08: Video: Animal Welfare and the Future of Zoos (18:30)

09: Video: Tigers and Public in Danger at Roadside Zoo (4:15)

10: Video: Lions Tigers & Bears – Sanctuary Spotlight (5:00)

11: Reading: Farmed Animal Sanctuaries: The Heart of the Movement?
Though this deals with farm animals many of the ideas can also apply to exotic animal sanctuaries.

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