Beyond Human to Humane: A Multispecies Analysis of Care Work, Its Repression, and Its Potential

Kendra Coulter

Abstract


This paper approaches care work through a multispecies and interspecies lens, and challenges readers to expand both their analysis and their ethical considerations in order to include animals. First I present a conceptual framework to help illuminate and unpack the care work animals do in the wild, in homes, and in formal workplaces. I then highlight the complex ways animals’ bodies, minds, and families are involved in the production of commodities for human consumption, and the implications of such practices for animals’ own forms of caregiving. Unfortunately, the fact is that for many animals, their primary experiences of care work are its repression. As a result, in the final section, I offer food for thought about the potential for care work to not only involve more empathetic embodied interactions and labour processes, but to be a springboard for expanded visions and projects of social justice which include humane jobs and recognize that “the social” is multispecies.

Keywords


care work; human-animal relations; critical animal studies; gender and work; humane jobs

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26522/ssj.v10i2.1350

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