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Cross-species emotional political ecology in rural Pakistan

By K. Gomersall, Afzal Anam, Majeed Sobia, Iqbal Humera, D. McGill

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This article engages cross-species intersectionality and emotional political ecology to evaluate a dairy extension service that ran in Punjab and Sindh, Pakistan, between 2012 and 2017. The project aimed to mitigate potential negative impacts of implementation, such as the exacerbation of pre-existing social inequality, by applying principles of women's agency and empowerment in project design. Evidence from the two case study villages reveals how social difference (caste and class) shape women's access to extension meetings and the resources to implement practices. The evidence also reveals that through cattle work woman cultivate an emotional bond with their animals, given the multiple instrumental and sociocultural values they represent for households. Singh (2013) provides a definition of the agentic potential of this emotional bond as the 'ability to affect and be affected'. The higher socioeconomic classes that had good access to the extension service were able to improve animal welfare and milk production through which they cultivated satisfaction, pride and independence. Alternatively, women expressed feelings of longing or boredom in the absence of this invaluable resource in their lives. This article confirms the importance of intersectionality for designing interventions that are sensitive to inter and intra household dynamics and that cross-species relations form pivotal axes for social difference. These cross-species relations cultivate emotions/affect during engagement with the extension service.

Date 2023
Publication Title Geoforum
Volume 139
ISBN/ISSN 0016-7185
DOI 10.1016/j.geoforum.2023.103692
Author Address Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Level 2, 32 Lincoln Square North, Carlton, Vic 3053, Australia.gomersall.k@unimelb.edu.au
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal ecology
  3. Animals
  4. Anthrozoology
  5. Asia
  6. Bovidae
  7. Business
  8. Case Report
  9. Cattle
  10. Commonwealth of Nations
  11. Countries
  12. Dairy animals
  13. Ecology
  14. Education
  15. Emotions
  16. Empowerment
  17. Extension
  18. Gender
  19. Humans
  20. Inequalities
  21. Mammals
  22. Men
  23. open access
  24. Pakistan
  25. politics
  26. Primates
  27. Psychiatry and psychology
  28. Research
  29. Ruminants
  30. Social psychology and social anthropology
  31. socioeconomics
  32. ungulates
  33. vertebrates
  34. villages
  35. Women
  36. Womens studies
  1. open access