Difference and Domination Revisited



The conventional trilogy of social domination, of class, ‘race’ and gender has been challenged by new kinds of critical sociologies concerned with other differences – of place and location, age and generation, sexuality and forms of embodied difference. Despite these important developments, sociology stops short at the difference of species, excepting the work of very few individuals. I have drawn on the theoretical traditions of critical theorizing in sociology in order to argue that the social is not, and has never been, exclusively human; and to suggest that species should be understood as a form of social domination. My articulation of this project is distinctive in its alliance with attempts, particularly to be found in ecofeminist work, to understand the interlocking and intersected qualities of social domination. This book has been predominantly concerned with the lives of those species whose lives are closely interwoven with those of human beings – domesticates. With respect to these groups of animals, species difference means human domination and I have examined some forms that this assumes in speci?c cases. I have made the case however, that human domination, understood as a complex system of social relations, means that we must pay attention to different degrees of domination of non-human animal species.


Social Relation Farm Animal Human Relation Social Form Social Power 
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Copyright information

© Erika Cudworth 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of East LondonUK

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