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Purdue alum, independent researcher, Wolf Park volunteer

  1. Heather Frigiola

    Hello, I have been receiving the HABRI newsletter ever since I was informed of this wonderful website by one of its founders. I have a scholarly background in human-animal interaction, focusing more on the human side with regards to people’s perceptions and beliefs about animals. I hope to be participating in discussion threads soon – I have some concerns to raise regarding the portrayal of cats in the media – but I thought I should introduce myself first.

  2. Christopher C Charles

    Hi, Heather—welcome to the HABRI Central forum! It’s always a pleasure to speak with a friend of Wolf Park :-)

    Feel free to start or join as many threads as you’d like. So long as it pertains to the relationships between humans and animals, it’s fair game here.

    Not to preempt your future thread, but I’m very curious to learn more about your concerns about the way cats are portrayed in the media.

  3. Heather Frigiola

    Christopher Charles ~ I have just uploaded my 2009 Master’s thesis about the symbolic meanings of dogs and cats in American culture. This is a starting point for my concern. “Cat people” and “dog people” form two distinct subcultures in the United States (as well as in certain other countries), and these subcultures occupy separate niches within society overall.

    Before I get too far ahead of myself, my concern pertains to a recent stream of news headlines in which scientific studies of cat behavior have been misrepresented by the popular press in order to portray cats and cat people in a negative light. Perhaps you know of which cases I am referring to. But I believe that this is all connected to the antagonistic relationship between the two cultures of pet ownership that has existed in this country for many decades. Most people see this rivalry as being all fun and games, but from the perspective of a social scientist I find this to be worrisome, potentially yielding negative consequences for people (cat people) and animals (cats).

    This brings me to the question of contributing outside resources to the HABRI database. I have links to the original published studies in question, but I have no legal rights to them myself. I suppose this means that these works cannot be added to the HABRI database unless we have written permission from the authors, correct? If we cannot include these articles in the database, I am guessing that I am still allowed to provide external links to the publication in my forum posts?

  4. Marcy Wilhelm-South

    Hi Heather, and welcome! The short answer is that the publications you do not have rights to may still find a place in the HABRI Central collection, likely within the Bibliography portion of the site. Our citation records have a “Find it” option that can make it possible for users to connect with the material even if it hasn’t been uploaded directly to HABRI Central. I’ll send you a private message shortly that details that submission process a bit more.

    You are, of course, still free to post external links to publications and articles in any forum or blog posts you create; in fact, I’d encourage doing so whether the work has been added to HABRI Central’s collections or not, as it makes it easier for users to jump into the discussion. I’m excited to see what some of those are!

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