An Emerging Social Movement in China: Frames and Activists in Dog-Rescue Actions
Author: Guo, Longpeng , email@example.com
Department: Applied Social Science
University: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Supervisor: Dr. David Ip, Fukeung
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: English
, Dog-rescue Action
Areas of Research:
Social Classes and Social Movements
, Social Transformations and Sociology of Development
A series of dog-rescue actions intending to save dogs from being slaughtered and sent to restaurants, have been occurring regularly in China since 2011. It has seen activists in 19 cities taking action on highways demanding that dogs be released from the trucks, interrupting traditional festival celebrations involving the eating of dog meat in Yulin in Guangxi Province, and exposing illegal slaughterhouses that kill dogs for food. In China, where dog meat has been a common source of protein and where dogs have been socially and culturally regarded as lowly creatures, these activities should deserve closer examination. For one thing, do these activities indicate an emerging movement advocating animal welfare rights? Or do they reflect some broader changes in the values and practices of a new generation of Chinese growing up in post-reform affluence and Western influence? And how has such a movement been able to expand, especially in a social milieu that is generally conservative and authoritarian?
Adopting the lens of frame theory, this research endeavors to answer these questions by inquiring into the participants and organizers of these activities and the frames they share and develop in spearheading their organization and movement. In turn, a critical analysis of the broader social, cultural and economic changes in post-reform China will be carried out.
The fieldwork was based on 17 in-depth interviews with activists conducted over a period of three month in an Animal Shelter located in Kunming where three dog-rescue campaigns were organized.