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Durham e-Theses
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Caring for Stray Cats: An Ethnographic Exploration of Animal Caregiving in Urban Thailand

WARAWUTSUNTHON, LILA (2021) Caring for Stray Cats: An Ethnographic Exploration of Animal Caregiving in Urban Thailand. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This dissertation is an ethnographic description of animal caregiving in urban Thailand with a focus on caring for stray cats. The main setting in which I explored this human-animal relationship is Bangkok, locally known as Krung Thep, the capital of Thailand. My aims are to detail the way Thai people carry out caregiving work for stray cats in this highly urbanised environment and to explore this from three key perspectives: (1) a means of trans-species communication; (2) an ethics governing the caregiving work of Thai caregivers for their community animals; and (3) a way of thinking about welfare for humans and animals. I argue that animal caregiving is a practice of trans-species communication that forms a human-animal relationship, and houses are one of the sites to witness how it actualises. As social relationships entail ethical implications, animal caregiving is also considered an ethical project for animal caregivers to collectively achieve an ideal form of trans-species bonds. Because of this social and moral significance, welfare is increasingly perceived as a necessity to support these human-animal bonds.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:human-animal relations, Thailand
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Jan 2022 10:23

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