By Kendra Coulter
Interweaving human-animal stories, hard work theories and study, and feminist political economic climate, Coulter develops a distinct research of the accomplishments, complexities, difficulties, and chances of multispecies and interspecies labor.
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Extra info for Animals, Work, and the Promise of Interspecies Solidarity
Sanders’ (1996) examination of two university-based, primate research laboratories in the same city, reveals clear differences between the two sites. These include the motivations of the workers present, their attitudes toward the work and the animals, and the hiring processes. In one lab, most workers demonstrate a more utilitarian approach to the work and do not express any connection with or sympathy for the animals. In the other, there is more of a culture DAILY WORK AND LABOR PROCESSES 25 or ethic of care, as relationships with individual animals are built and nurtured, the animals are named, and workers uncomfortable with testing seek to make daily life as pleasant as possible for the primates.
Undoubtedly, questions of pay and income are crucial to understanding all animal work. People’s work with/for animals is very differently remunerated, but much of it is poorly paid and is quite precarious, which means it is also contingent, erratic, insecure, and often part-time. Precarious work is both economically and socially devalued. For women and racialized workers in particular, such conditions are not new, but precarious work is increasingly common and widespread in countries like Canada, the United States, and Britain, among others (Kalleberg 2011; Vosko 2000, 2006; Vosko, MacDonald, and Campbell 2009).
At the same time, people often engage in additional, internal work to control their own feelings. This is often known as emotion work. Hochschild originally argued that emotion work was done specifically in noncommercial/private spaces like homes, but recent writing has recognized that emotion work, and especially emotional management, is done in formal workplaces as well. Veterinary DAILY WORK AND LABOR PROCESSES 39 practices are key sites where both emotional labor and emotion work are continuously required, because seeing animals hurt, sick, and being euthanized is a recurring part of the job.