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Animals in Society Research Cluster

Welcome to the Animals in Society research cluster (RC) of the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA)! As sociologists, we see value in scholarship that goes beyond an anthropocentric understanding of Canadian society, one that includes the non- or other-than-human and pays particular attention to “the question of the animal”. The work of this RC is inclusive, anti-oppressive, and critical in nature. Working from an interdisciplinary perspective, we seek to expand current interpretations of societal structures and institutions, social norms, practices, policies, and relations that involve humans and other beings. The Animals in Society RC recognizes and respects that we are all animals in a shared society.

Please contact the administrative board with ideas, inquiries, or to join the CSA Animals in Society Research Cluster.


Rochelle Stevenson, Thompson Rivers University

Sarah May Lindsay, McMaster University

Some themes and topics you will find from our members’ work:

  • Human-nonhuman animal relations
  • Nonhuman animal policies and practices
  • Theoretical interpretations of nonhuman animals and their lives
  • Human-nonhuman connectivity, disparity, and subjective binaries
  • “Animal” spaces and environments
  • “Animal” labour
  • “Animals” as resources
  • “Domestic” animals
  • “Wild” animals
  • Species and interconnected/mirrored oppression and prejudice (speciesism)
  • Power exchange and collaboration
  • Nonhuman animal families, pairs, and roles
  • “Animal” autonomy and non-interference
  • Inter- and intra-species studies
  • Violence against “animals”
  • Nonhuman deviance, ability, and “norms”

In order to promote scholarship and exchange of ideas, The Animals in Society Research Cluster will be publishing an online newsletter. Details regarding article submission will be forthcoming.

2024 Animals in Society Research Cluster Best Student Paper Award

See past recipients

Maybe Memorial Award

Maybe Memorial Award2024 Maybe Memorial Award

This award has been established in honour of a beloved family member, Maybe, whose life was taken in 2017 in an act of animal cruelty. Maybe’s spirit was one of joy, acceptance, and community. Her boundless love and enthusiasm was contagious and she sparked this in all those who were lucky enough to know her. This fund is one small step to furthering society’s respect, understanding, activism, and improvement of the wellbeing of non-human animals in our society.

Established in 2020 and administered by the Animals In Society Research Cluster, the Maybe Memorial Award seeks to encourage and reward graduate student research that focusses on non-human animal welfare in a broad sense.

One award will be granted annually. Award recipients will receive a certificate of recognition, $300 (CAD), and acknowledgement at the Canadian Sociological Association annual conference.

Eligibility and Award Criteria:

  • Any paper with a focus on non-human animal welfare is welcomed. Preference will be given to research that has policy-focussed research objectives.
  • The paper must be accepted for presentation at the CSA Annual Conference. Award winners must attend the CSA Annual Conference and present their paper in order to receive their award.
  • Submissions must be completed papers, and paper length should not exceed 40 pages maximum, including bibliography and appendices.
  • Papers may be co-authored with a faculty member, however the graduate student must be the primary author and majority contributor to the work. Authors may submit more than one paper for consideration.
  • The Award recipient should acknowledge support in conference session presentation.
  • Upon acceptance, reward recipients should provide a 500 word summary of their research aims and objectives for the award donors.


Refer to the Resource Hub for information on these past events;

  • Animal Agribusiness: Acting Against Specieism
  • International Association for Vegan Sociologists: Peer Reviewing in Sociology
  • Intersections of Animal Studies & Disability Studies
  • Worldly Togetherness? Showcasing sociological contributions to understanding multispecies entanglements