Abstract

This study explores the complex relationship between humans and nonhuman animals through the lens of stock shows and rodeos (SSR). This study employs a feminist theoretical framework and an interpretive qualitative research methodology to gain insight into the ways in which humans practice a range of speciesist behaviors relating to their commodification, consumption, and care of other animals. Data consist of semi-structured interviews with 21 individuals who participate in SSR as spectators and competitors and with two animal medical experts, along with field observations at three different SSR held in Florida and Texas. Findings suggest that nonhuman animals serve many of the same roles beyond the stock show and rodeo, such as companions, competitive athletes, workers, food, and clothing. An analysis of the environment and culture of SSR exposes forms of leisure, entertainment, and competition where nonhuman animals are involuntary participants within an animal sport and entertainment complex constructed by humans. In addition, this human construction is tied to a romanticized version of frontier culture. Additional analysis shows that commodification of animal bodies and consumption of those bodies as entertainment, food, and clothing, is necessary in the maintenance of this animal sport and entertainment complex. Finally, findings support the notion that humans love and care for nonhuman animals, however, that love and care is contingent upon the value of the animal. This study helps build upon the scholarship regarding human-nonhuman animal studies, including in sports and entertainment, and it illuminates the ways in which other animals are social actors subject to similar structural controls and constraints as humans.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Grauerholz, Liz

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Sociology

Degree Program

Sociology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008681;DP0025412

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0025412

Language

English

Release Date

August 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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