Theses 

Interpreting Food: Ambiguity and Competing Meanings on Dog-meat Consumption in the Philippines – Mgr. Macario Lacbawan Jr.

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Masarykova univerzita

Fakulta sociálních studií

Magisterský studijní program / obor:
Sociologie / Sociologie (angl.)

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Mgr. Macario Lacbawan Jr.

Diplomová práce

Interpreting Food: Ambiguity and Competing Meanings on Dog-meat Consumption in the Philippines

Interpreting Food: Ambiguity and Competing Meanings on Dog-meat Consumption in the Philippines

Anotace: This thesis unpacks the meaning-structures that inform the contested food practice of dog-meat consumption in the Philippines. By employing structural hermeneutics of Strong Program, this paper looks into the interaction of meanings employed by two groups of social actors: animal welfare advocates and supporters of cultural rights. The debate, however diverse, is informed by binary oppositions that frame dog-eating in a polarized image. On the one hand, the animal welfare group considers dog-eating as violation of animal rights, an insignia of barbarism, and vector in the spread of rabies virus. On the other hand, the practice is treated as a sacred component of ritual that has spiraled into a national symbol of Filipino culture. In a deeper level, these diverging structures of meaning are utilized as frames to make sense of the ambiguous and contested nature of dog-meat eating. In this thesis, consuming dog-meat is an ambiguous symbol in view of how it is contested as signifier of purity and pollution: 1) travesty of animal rights or marker of cultural/human rights, and 2) symbol of barbarity or signifier of Filipino heritage hinged on ‘authentic’ precolonial tradition. Thus, the engagement of two opposing views mirrors a deeper process where each group tries to project its discourse as sacred while labeling its opponents' as impurity and transgression. Specifically, proponents of animal rights take animal welfare as sacred principle that is violated by dog-eating, while advocates of cultural rights see dog-eating as insignia of Filipino culture that is constantly threatened by the imposition of foreign ideas.

Abstract: This thesis unpacks the meaning-structures that inform the contested food practice of dog-meat consumption in the Philippines. By employing structural hermeneutics of Strong Program, this paper looks into the interaction of meanings employed by two groups of social actors: animal welfare advocates and supporters of cultural rights. The debate, however diverse, is informed by binary oppositions that frame dog-eating in a polarized image. On the one hand, the animal welfare group considers dog-eating as violation of animal rights, an insignia of barbarism, and vector in the spread of rabies virus. On the other hand, the practice is treated as a sacred component of ritual that has spiraled into a national symbol of Filipino culture. In a deeper level, these diverging structures of meaning are utilized as frames to make sense of the ambiguous and contested nature of dog-meat eating. In this thesis, consuming dog-meat is an ambiguous symbol in view of how it is contested as signifier of purity and pollution: 1) travesty of animal rights or marker of cultural/human rights, and 2) symbol of barbarity or signifier of Filipino heritage hinged on ‘authentic’ precolonial tradition. Thus, the engagement of two opposing views mirrors a deeper process where each group tries to project its discourse as sacred while labeling its opponents' as impurity and transgression. Specifically, proponents of animal rights take animal welfare as sacred principle that is violated by dog-eating, while advocates of cultural rights see dog-eating as insignia of Filipino culture that is constantly threatened by the imposition of foreign ideas.

Keywords: Dog-eating, ambiguity, food, cultural sociology, meaning

Jazyk práce: angličtina

Obhajoba závěrečné práce

  • Obhajoba proběhla 10. 6. 2014
  • Vedoucí: Dr. Werner Binder
  • Oponent: M.A. Dominik Bartmanski, Ph.D.

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Nahoru | Aktuální datum a čas: 19. 6. 2019 03:36, 25. (lichý) týden

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