Please join us in welcoming Elizabeth Jefferis Terrien in SS 401 from 12:15-1:20 on Monday October 17.

By , October 16, 2011 9:36 pm

Elizabeth Jefferis Terrien is a PhD student in Sociology.

Cultural Conditions of City Park Use

Cultural differences within communities have different policy implications for cities. This comparative case study of two neighborhoods in Los Angeles and two in Chicago, selected on the basis of their observed divergent dog ownership practices, is used to develop a grounded theory about dogs as cultural indicators and urban community identifiers.  Humans have cohabitated with domesticated dogs for millennia yet it is one of the most under-studied relationships in the social sciences.  Original research and analysis of over 100 in-depth interviews, 200 hours of site observation in the community and local parks, photographs, and periodicals theorizes about individual dog-caretaker relationships and situates them within a community of dog caretakers in urban neighborhoods, and then further situates them within the larger municipal authorities of the LA Department of Recreation and Parks, Chicago Park District, LA Animal Services, Chicago Animal Care and Control, political leaders, and police.  Misunderstandings of the relationships between recent Latino immigrants, African Americans, the homeless, and upper middle class owners and their dogs illustrate the impact of beliefs and feelings about dogs on modern urban life.

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