Here we list our current research projects that are seeking participants. If you want to know more about our other research projects you can find details on the research page.
Feel free to browse through the links and consider participating if any take your fancy and/or are relevant to you. Thanks
Negotiating Controversial Issues in Teaching Human-Animal Studies – this is now closed. Thanks to all who participated.
From the survey page:
Academics in the social sciences are responsible for fostering students’ intellectual, emotional and political growth. How they teach politically and emotionally confronting material is an ongoing challenge, requiring skill and openness to discovery. Wittingly or otherwise, academics have their own ideological understandings of the world, which they convey to students through decisions they make about the literature they use, questions they ask and assignments they set. Students often come to classes with strong existing ideological and normative explanations for the world and, without adequate pedagogical strategies to disrupt and challenge these, they may remain closed to alternate explanations of social phenomena. In the field of animal studies (we are using this as a generic term to cover e.g., critical animal studies, anthrozoology), these controversies ask students to question their understandings of the world and the ways they operate in it by challenging the status quo of relationships between humans, animals and the environment in fundamental ways. Finding ways to communicate controversial material that can evoke strong negative emotions in students, in a way that does not alienate them, can be extremely difficult. This is especially relevant to politically challenging study areas such as animal studies, where many instructors are also advocate-scholars.
Learning more about how academics undertake this political, emotional and intellectual work, and how this can best enhance student learning, is central to this project.
Inclusion Criteria: Any academic (e.g. full or part time, tenured or casual) currently or recently involved in teaching human-animal studies topics.
Relationship experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (includes questions on relationships with nonhuman animals)
(now closed, thanks to all who participated)
From the survey page:
Thank you for your interest in taking part in this research, which is being conducted by Dr Damien Riggs, Dr Nik Taylor, and Dr Heather Fraser at Flinders University, Dr Catherine Donovan at the University of Sunderland, and Dr Tania Signal at the Central Queensland University.
The research aims to better understand your experiences of close relationships, both with other humans and with animal companions. Evidence from research with heterosexual cisgender people suggests that animals can be important sources of support, both for people who are not in relationships, and for people who are in relationships that are abusive. However there is no research on what animals mean for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people in the context of their relationships and lives.
As such, in this survey we are interested in understanding the role of animals in the context of your experiences of relationships, including with intimate partners and family members. Importantly, we are not just interested in the experiences of LGBT people who are in relationships with other humans, nor are we just interested in the experiences of LGBT people who live with animal companions. Rather, we seek to better understand the diversity amongst LGBT communities in relation to perceptions and experiences of relationships with both other humans and with animals.
Compassion Fatigue: Working with animals in shelters & rescue (including foster care).
Now closed, thanks to all who participated.
A joint study by CQUniversity and Flinders University.
From the survey page:
The aim of the study is to explore the possible psychological and emotional effects of involvement in animal welfare and/or foster care in Australia. Compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue have been relatively well researched within human emergency-service professions (e.g., nurses, social workers, first responders), however very little is known about how those who work within animal rescue are affected despite the similarities in caring required.
Your participation in this study will include providing basic demographic information (such as gender and length of time working/volunteering within the animal welfare/rescue/foster field), some information about what your involvement is (i.e., main activities), and providing responses to statements about your emotional experiences.
“Live with an animal? Have a bond with an animal? Want to take part in a study investigating our relationships with other animals? Then head over to http://whatisitaboutanimals.com/ to find out more.”
Background to the Study:
We know that animals play important roles in our social, cultural and political lives, as loved ones, friends and companions, workers, ‘livestock’, ‘products’ and ‘commodities’. For instance, in Australia, 63 percent of households include a companion animal, many people living with companion animals consider them to be “family members” (estimates vary between 75-90 percent), and the pet animal industry contributes approximately AUD$4.74 billion annually to the economy (Australian Companion Animal Council, nd).
The bond between many humans and their animal companions is often very strong, invoking emotions of attachment and pleasure. Human–companion animal relationships may allow people to experience themselves and their lives in significantly different ways; ways that are very positive. Humans who describe themselves as ‘animal lovers’ usually see their pets as valued family members, whether (or not) these animals are substitute children, friends, protectors, and/or sources of companionship and affection. Also, plenty of people feel affection or even love towards animals they do not keep as companions or pets, such as native birds that visit them or injured wildlife that they help to care for until they are ready to be released into their habitat.
In this study we want to know how you experience animals you consider important; how you describe and feel about these relationships. We are keen to dig beneath the stereotypes to examine the perceptions of, and meanings attributed to, the relationships ‘animal lovers’ have with their companion animals or any other animals they feel affection towards. That is why we inviting participants to use a range of mediums or formats (e.g. photos, stories, videos, poems, paintings, drawings) to represent their human-animal relationships. Feel free to be creative and have fun.
Study webpage: http://whatisitaboutanimals.com/
The study is no longer accepting posts but existing posts can still be viewed. A big thanks to everyone who contributed.