04/11/2011 11:44 | Ester Ehnsmyr

Are we really listening to the animal’s point of view? Zoo-ethnographies started out with keynote Lynda Birke

Yesterday the ongoing humanimal conference Zoo-ethnographies started out with renown professor Lynda Birke who questioned the animal presence in our use of methods.

Lynda Birke, professor in Anthro-zoology at the Department of Biological Science at the University of Chester in UK, talked about the need of rethinking our choice of methods in a way that bring in the animal. She meant that the very use of the word animal, that we talk about humans and animals as a divide, is the first sign of our anthropomorphism.

She also talked about the difficulty of bringing qualitative and quantitative methods into the same study. We often end up using one of them and one of the reasons is that they just don’t fit together. Another reason is the difficulty of publishing a paper using both methods. But, in her own studies of familiar partnerships in human-horses relationships she tries to bring together the qualitative and the quantitative.

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