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Animalizing Appalachia: A Critical Animals Studies Analysis of Early Sociological Surveys of Southern Appalachia

Wrenn, Corey (2023) Animalizing Appalachia: A Critical Animals Studies Analysis of Early Sociological Surveys of Southern Appalachia. Journal of Appalachian Studies, . ISSN 1082-7161. E-ISSN 2328-8612. (In press) (KAR id:100311)

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Animalization is both a symbolic and structural process which renders some bodies cognitively, physically, biologically, and even evolutionarily “other” to the effect of normalizing and rationalizing unequal modes of production and structural violence. This paper argues that Appalachians (of all species), like the peoples of other colonized regions, have historically been framed as less than human, ignorant, dangerous, undeveloped, and in need of civilizing. Relatedly, the introduction of institutionalized speciesism in the region (namely the “fur” trade and animal agriculture) facilitated an in-group/out-group binary that would permeate colonial culture and establish an economic system built on the domination of others. In light of these intersections, this article invites sociologists to consider the Appalachian case study. Specifically, it considers how sociology may have contributed to the animalization of Appalachia and set into motion a legacy of cultural and political marginalization. To initiate this area of inquiry, Critical Animal Studies theory is applied to three foundational sociological surveys of the region to briefly analyze and ascertain how researchers’ depictions may have shaped Appalachians as animalistic “others.”

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Animal rights, animalization, animality, colonialism, Appalachia, American Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Corey Wrenn
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2023 12:44 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2023 10:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Wrenn, Corey:
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