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Title: The Seoul of cats and dogs : a trans-species ethnography of animal cruelty and animal welfare in contemporary Korea
Author: Dugnoille, Julien
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 3041
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Seoul from July 2012 until July 2013, this dissertation offers a novel perspective on human-animal interactions and public discourses regarding livestock versus pet moral boundaries in contemporary Korea. I aim to explore how Koreans struggle to make sense of the tension between the emergence of animal welfare and the perpetuation of traditional health behaviours that involve animal processing. The focus will be on why participants in my study, whether activists or not, defended both animal ethics and cat and dog meat consumption, while including Korean animals in fluid and instrumental conceptions of Koreanness. I have analysed a variety of discourses produced by both Korean and non-Korean, academic and non-academic stakeholders, in order to reveal the on-going tension between these powerful ubiquitous ideas and the lived experience of Koreans today. Moreover, I examine how the aesthetics of cruelty and empathy is employed in order to singularize livestock into companion animals thereby transgressing cultural taboos regarding Western ethics of species separation. I also demonstrate that converging and conflicting economic, political, social and cultural agendas are responsible for making Korea’s public discourses about animal welfare very unsettled. My research thus contributes to key anthropological debates about the cross-cultural circulation and cross-fertilisation of moral values that impact the ethics of post-industrial human-animal interactions; and about the influence of policy dialogue, at both national and international levels, on applied animal ethics, cultural stigmatization and the reinforcement of national sentiment.
Supervisor: Daniels, Inge; Lewis, James B. Sponsor: School of Anthropology (University of Oxford) ; Academy of Korean Studies ; Fulbright IIE Commission ; Korea Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anthropology ; Ethics (Moral philosophy) ; Practical ethics ; anthrozoology ; human-animal relations ; anthropology of Korea ; Korea ; South Korea ; cat ; dog ; cat meat ; dog meat ; animal welfare ; animal cruelty ; animal ethics ; livestock ; pets ; East Asia ; animal studies ; zooanthropology ; trans-species ; multi-species ; species turn ; animals ; contemporary ; ethnography ; food integrity