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The Rise of Therapy Animals' Personhood: a Note on the Ontological Dimensions of Professional Dynamics

Abstract : In this article I will argue, based on the example of animal-assisted therapy practices, that there is a strong relationship between the evolution of professional identities and that of relations to animals. I will consequently defend the importance of analyzing professional dynamics to understand recent changes in relations to animals. And, symmetrically, I will strive to explain that the sociology of professions could benefit from studying the professional dynamics into which animals are integrated. A third, broader objective can be added to these first two, that of contributing to reflections on animal work. Indeed, I will illustrate that the professionalization of animal-assisted therapy is accompanied by significant ontological stakes concerning the animals involved in these practices. Simply put, the more these practices are oriented towards therapy, the more they characterize and perform animals like persons, like beings who are subjectively engaged in work. Again, I will defend the importance of the sociology of professions to thinking about animal work.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02496023
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 4:46:00 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 9:05:15 AM

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Jérôme Michalon. The Rise of Therapy Animals' Personhood: a Note on the Ontological Dimensions of Professional Dynamics. Humanimalia - Journal of human/animal interface studies, DePauw University, 2020, 11 (2). ⟨halshs-02496023⟩

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