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Animals and Sociology by Kay Peggs (auth.)

By Kay Peggs (auth.)

Animals and Sociology demanding situations conventional assumptions in regards to the nature of sociology. Sociology frequently centres on people; although, different animals are all over the place in society.Kay Peggs explores the numerous contribution that sociology could make to our figuring out of human kinfolk with different animals.

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So morality demands that we move away from thinking about our own needs; and this can only come from detaching ourselves from the ‘instincts and inclinations that are the most deeply rooted in our body’ (Durkheim, 2005, p. 37). This is something that, in his view, other animals cannot do. Civilized society demands that humans step back from their selfish desires. In consequence, Durkheim sees human life as a perpetual conflict between, on the one hand, the wants and needs that are driven by our senses and, on the other hand, the moral values that draw us away from concentrating on our individual wants and needs (2005, p.

Studies in genetics suggest that, rather than being distinctly different, all species (including human) 28 Animals and Sociology share over 90 per cent of their genes (Fuller, 2006). In consequence, Fuller (2006) observes that the ‘human/animal dualism’ and differences among species are convenient labels and schemas rather than natural types. g. Owen, 2006, p. 917). This is a long running debate, but what I want to pick up on here is Fuller’s (2006) observation (above) that the perceived natural differences between humans and other animals might be merely expedient labels and schemas.

Weber (1978 (orig 1925)) classifies inequalities in terms of ‘class’, ‘status’ and ‘party’. When talking about a ‘class situation’ Weber is referring to an individual’s economic position in society. Class situation can influence ‘status’ but does not necessarily do so as status refers to the social estimation of honour which is associated with, for example, lifestyle choices. Thus, Weber argues that status ‘is a quality of social honour or a lack of it and is in the main conditioned as well as expressed through a specific style of life’ (1978, p.

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