Home    Number 4, 2018

We-Alpha: Toward a Model of Social Organization of the Dog and Human

[My-alfa: k modeli sotsial’noi organizatsii sobaki i cheloveka]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150000401-1

Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 12.12.2017

Accepted: 18.05.2018

About author(s)

Denis Gvozdikov | http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5967-6772 | den-gvozdikov@yandex.ru | Saint Petersburg University (7/9 Universitetskaya Emb., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia)


anthropology of animals, ethics of the living, intra-species research, humans and dogs


The article addresses the aspects of relationships between humans and animals that cross over a number of discursive fields such as intellectual theory, social practice, and cultural models of the living. The argument running through them all is that the accepted ways of describing the animal world reflect our own, culturally shaped, view of the “natural” social organization. The ethics of relationships between the humans and “subaltern” species may begin to be transformed when the dominant model of understanding these relationships comes to be challenged by alternative ones. Changes in ethical attitudes towards animals are possible and may stem from the recognition of commonality of “animic” features and principles, recognition of animal subjectivity, and incorporation of animals into a shared symbolic space of the social life and mutual exchange that unfold as a mutual way of being.


Gvozdikov, D.S. 2018. My-alfa: k modeli sotsial’noi organizatsii sobaki i cheloveka [We-Alpha: Toward a Model of Social Organization of the Dog and Human]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 44-56. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150000401-1

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