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Animal work

Call for papers for the dossier of the July 2022 issue
Deadline for submission of proposals: July 31st, 2021

Experts responsible for the issue

Jocelyne Porcher
Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement- Unité Mixte de Recherche Innovation - Animal’s Lab, France.

Sébastien Mouret
Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement- Unité Mixte de Recherche Innovation - Animal’s Lab, France.

Maria Fernanda de Torres Alvarez
Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement- Unité Mixte de Recherche Innovation - Animal’s Lab, France.

Carole Baudin
University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland. HES SO, Suisse.

Patricio Nusshold
Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 & Institut de Psychodynamique du Travail (IPDT -ASTI), France.

The papers will be published in one of the journal’s official languages (Spanish or Portuguese). However, the abstracts of the proposals, as well as the texts submitted for assessment, may be written in French or in English. The authors are responsible for the translation into Spanish or Portuguese, according to the reviewers’ appraisal and the suggestions made by the Laboreal Board.


July 31st 2021: Deadline to submit proposals with title; abstract (no longer than 500 words); and five references (the proposals must be sent to the journal’s secretariat, using thereto the following e-mail address:

August 31st 2021: Deadline to inform authors of the results of the abstract assessments.

October 31st 2021: Deadline to submit the full papers.

February 8th 2022: Deadline to inform the authors of the results of the full paper assessments.

April 1st 2022: Deadline to submit the paper’s final version, in Spanish or in Portuguese.

Proposals must be related to the topics defined below.

Animal work

In numerous socio-professional activities (in agriculture, the police, the army, health, research, art, the environment, among others), humans and animals work together. In recent years, research in the human and social sciences has highlighted the specificities of cooperation between humans and animals, and has shown the existence of animal work, thus opening a new field of research. We now know that the rules of work are built intra- and inter-specific: between humans and between animals and humans.

Since then, debates have opened up on the relations of domination between humans and animals in the organization of work in various countries. In animal production, the primacy of the instrumental rationality of work, via the acceleration of the production rate, is the cause of suffering, increasing occupational diseases and degrading work results, not only for humans but also for animals. The organization of work - which may have as objective the death of animals in an abattoir or rural establishments - is, under industrial conditions, frequently the origin of various forms of violence.

On the other hand, for many years now society’s relationship with domestic animals has been deeply questioned from an ethical point of view, under the growing influence of militant movements promoting animal’s rights. This abolitionist ideology reduces human work with animals to exploitation, and excludes the animal work, within an emerging zoocentred philosophy that has come to affect our ontologies.

The aim of this issue is to discuss and analyze these activities, and the associated ethical and deontological issues. We seek to address the issue of human work with animals, as well as animal work itself. Therefore, this dossier seeks to discuss both the relationship between humans and animals and the engagement of animals in work. Being able to discuss this issue through work sciences seems essential to us today. This issue seeks then to think about the complex issue of animals in the world of work, based on field experiences. The objective is to question human-animal activities in real situations, and thus answer some of the following questions:

  • How can we think about the current situations, problems and specificities of the subject matter of this call for papers?

  • What are the historical and social evolutions of the socio-professional worlds founded on animal work? How have these impacted the employment of humans and the working conditions of animals and humans? What are the effects on health at work?

  • What are the ethical and social conditions for cooperation at work between humans and animals? What are the obstacles? To what extent do the verbal and bodily communicational dimensions play a role at work?

  • How should one consider the political dimension of situations frequently denounced by militants and media?

  • How should one consider the political dimension, considering that the animal work is a source of economic and social valorization?

  • Can ergonomics analyze animal work? What kind of ergonomics? How?

  • What are the limits to discuss about the real work of humans with animals, and animal work? Can we overcome these?

  • Could it be that in some places it has become impossible to discuss work that is undertaken with animals? Why?

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