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Human–Dolphin Encounter Spaces: A Qualitative Investigation of the Geographies and Ethics of Swim-With-The-Dolphins Programs

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Abstract

Throughout history and all over the world, dolphins have been welcomed across the human-animal boundary as an ethical subject fit for human companionship. The dolphin's charismatic status has led to a burgeoning swim-with-dolphins industry that offers eager customers opportunities for close, in-water interactions with dolphins. With qualitative methods, I investigate human-dolphin encounter geographies in the marketplace today. Contributing to a growing animal geographies literature, three case studies in Florida and the Bahamas inform a situated understanding of particular animal encounter spaces. Through the use of narrative, I suggest that as encounter spaces change, so do the views and experiences associated with human-dolphin interactions, as well as the essential nature of what it means to be dolphin. Encouraging further dialogue about how we ought to interact with dolphins, I evaluate various encounter contexts, consider policy alternatives, and propose a practical ethic for human-dolphin encounters in a decidedly normative effort to advance the well-being of dolphins, humans and the spaces we share.

Submitter

Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2006
Pages 298
Publisher Florida State University
Department Geography
Degree Doctor of Philosophy
URL http://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/etd/389/
Language English
Notes This thesis was found on DigiNole Commons for Florida State University: http://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/
University Florida State University
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Tags
  1. Animals in culture
  2. Dolphins
  3. Geography
  4. Human-animal interactions