Animals matter for human existence in so many ways that it is difficult to imagine the entity we call “society” without them. They figure heavily in our language, food, clothing, family structure, economy, education, entertainment, science, recreation, and other areas of social life. In this specialization, we will investigate a range of topics, many of them controversial. Although this is a sociology course, the field of human-animal studies is interdisciplinary. Many of the suggested readings come from fields outside of sociology, but this specialization emphasizes their sociological relevance throughout each course.
Applied Learning Project
This specialization is ideal for individuals employed in animal welfare including animal sheltering, veterinary medicine, trainers, rehabilitators, and animal control officers. This specialization is also excellent for learners interested in deepening their knowledge of how individuals and society treat and regard animals, from the common housepet to livestock, animals held in captivity, and animals in the wild.