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Animals in their Nature: A Case Study on Public Attitudes to Animals, Genetic Modification and ‘Nature’.

Macnaghten, Philip (2004) Animals in their Nature: A Case Study on Public Attitudes to Animals, Genetic Modification and ‘Nature’. Sociology, 38 (3). pp. 533-551. ISSN 1469-8684

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Abstract

This article seeks to engage with contemporary debates on the social and ethical dimensions of genetically modified (GM) animals. Dominant policy ethical approaches and frameworks are criticized for failing radically to accommodate some of the most important dimensions of concern. Drawing on primary empirical data emphasizing existing embodied relationships to animals, the article analyses how people express ethical concern over GM animals, including their sense of the continuities and discontinuities between GM animals and those determined by conventional selective breeding practices. The findings suggest that GM animals are likely to become an issue of public controversy, especially in the animal testing domain, due to the ways in which they symbolize and give voice to underlying tensions between ‘moral’and ‘instrumental’approaches to animals.The article concludes that people reject GM animals as ‘going against nature’, and that such concerns reflect wider unease about science, about technological modernity, and about hubris.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords: animals • embodiment • ethics • genetic modification • nature • risk
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 11009
Deposited By: Mrs Yaling Zhang
Deposited On: 29 Jul 2008 14:25
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2013 16:02
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/11009

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