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Title: A qualitative study of avian influenza A H5N1 at the human-animal interface : examining constructions of risk and associated behaviours of people who work with poultry in three live bird markets in Indonesia
Author: Naysmith, Scott
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 3835
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis draws on the notion of disease narratives to examine the manner in which people who work with poultry (PWP) in live bird markets (LBMs) construct risks associated with avian influenza A H5N1, as well as how these constructions of risk inform behaviours at the human-animal interface. Focusing on PWP in three live bird markets in Indonesia, this qualitative study employs a constructivist perspective to look at what informs PWP’s constructions of risk about avian influenza in relation to themselves, their animals, their livelihoods, and the political authorities within their communities, and offers insight into the extent to which these constructions of risk underpin their behaviours. Although not strictly designed as a comparative study, this research draws out similarities and differences across the three fieldsites. Findings suggest that PWP assess risk by drawing on experiential knowledge and observations. Respondents across the three sites suggest a theory of species-specific infection in relation to H5N1, which broadly posits that there are certain diseases that infect different types of poultry and certain diseases that infect humans. For most PWP, diseases in birds are not considered contagious, even between different species, and the possibility of zoonosis implausible. The majority of respondents conclude that humans are not susceptible to poultry diseases because their observations and experiences do not support such a conclusion. PWP do, however, indicate that other forms of risk, such as the risk that a disease outbreak or an intervention can threaten their livelihood are plausible and salient. Behaviours of PWP at the human-animal interface reflect their constructions of risk, in that they prioritize economic considerations over any concern for mitigating the risk of disease in poultry or in people. This thesis concludes by outlining policy implications and researchable hypotheses, and in highlighting the benefits as well as the challenges of integrating qualitative, social science research into the interdisciplinary, collaborative study of emerging infectious diseases.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology