chapter  3
15 Pages

Escaping the maze: wildness and tameness in studying animal behaviour

ByLynda Birke

The growth of human-animal studies (HAS) represents a concern to ‘bring animals in’ – to mainstream sociology, or to the humanities, for example. But there are, of course, areas of scholarship in which nonhuman animals have always been present. Disciplinary divisions, separating social from natural sciences, have maintained a distinction that allots animals and their behaviour largely to biology, while human sociality is usually studied elsewhere. To be sure, there is overlap – in psychology, for instance – and the distinction is increasingly challenged by posthumanism, which seeks to overturn humanist beliefs in us versus the rest of nature (Wolfe 2003; Haraway 2008; Taylor 2012). Even so, the heritage of that separation persists: humans and nonhumans still usually appear as research subjects in different academic journals.