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Designing Cattle: The Social Practice of Constructing Breeds

By Camilla Eriksson, Andrea Petitt

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

This paper explores how cattle breeds are constructed through social practice—which we conceptually develop as “designing” cattle. We show how breed varieties are designed, informed by the social, material and moral embeddedness of cattle breeding associations’ visions of the future and how they draw on science and technology in their breeding strategies. Based on an analysis of the trade magazines of three different breeding associations, we illustrate how breeding associations are working to establish four different varieties of Swedish Mountain Cattle (SMC). We conclude that the concept of designing cattle enables us to unpack how breeds are socially constructed and institutionally stabilized through sociotechnical imaginaries.

Publication Title Anthrozoös
Volume 33
Issue 2
Pages 175-190
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI 10.1080/08927936.2020.1719758
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Tags
  1. Breeding
  2. Cattle
  3. Human-animal interactions
  4. Studies