Animals and Society - SOCI6260

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Corey Wrenn checkmark-circle


This course critically examines the historical role that animals have played in the making of modern society and the current nature of human/nonhuman relations in contemporary cultures. Students will also be introduced to intersections of race/class/gender and species. The final part of the course considers collective action and social policy as it relates to past and present efforts to challenge problematic aspects of human/nonhuman relations.


Contact hours

Total contact hours – 22
Private study hours - 128
Total study hours: 150


Optional module for SSPSSR Canterbury bachelor degree programmes
Also available as a wild module for other programmes

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework - Essay 1 (2,000 words) - 50%
Coursework - Essay 2 (2,000 words) - 50%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework

Indicative reading

Potts, A. Ed. 2016. Meat Culture. Leiden: Brill.
Arluke, A. and C. Sanders. 1996. Regarding Animals: Animals, Culture, and Society. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Cudworth, E. 2011. Social Lives with Other Animals. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
DeMello, M. 2012. Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Irvine, L. 2004. If You Tame Me: Understanding Our Connection with Animals. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Nibert, D. 2002. Animal Rights, Human Rights: Entanglements of Oppression and Liberation. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield.
Nibert, D. 2013. Animal Oppression and Human Violence. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Peggs, K. 2012. Animals and Sociology. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Taylor, N. and R. Twine. 2015. The Rise of Critical Animal Studies: From the Margins to the Centre. London: Routledge.
Wrenn, C. 2016. A Rational Approach to Animal Rights. London: Palgrave.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Think critically and sociologically about human relationships with other animals
2 Recognise intersections with Nonhuman Animals and oppressed human groups
3 Develop skills in understanding and evaluating current policies, social movements, and societal values pertaining to Nonhuman Animals

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Improve academic skills through participation in seminars and the structuring of original arguments
2 Have developed the ability to read closely and critically, and to apply a range of critical terms to literary texts
3 Have honed their ability to think critically about sociological concepts
4 Understand how to apply theory to analysis
5 Demonstrate library-based study skills


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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