Killing Companions: Emotion and Struggle within the Contemporary Animal Shelter Field

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Sarah LINDSAY, McMaster University, Canada
Through a synthesis of Pierre Bourdieu’s work on fields and capital, Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of the superego (both individual and collective), and Arlie Russell Hochschild’s theory of internal, individual emotion work, emotion management, and transmutation, this paper focuses on shelters as fields and the complex emotional inter-/intraspecies labour within them. It is imperative that sociologists look deeper into these places, with the aim of illuminating the internal and external struggles in the shelter field; moral, psychological, and practical problems such as euthanasia, secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD), and insufficient space and funding are frequently hidden from the public’s view. This paper aims to join up theory while practically addressing the oft-ignored (or unidentified) social psychological complexity of the internal and external “shelterer”, linking the morality and regulation of the superego, emotional struggle, and exchanges within the field, this laying the foundation for further analysis and more empirical study.