Figuring companion-species consumption: A multi-site ethnography of the post-canine Afghan hound

Shona Bettany, Rory Daly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


In her recent publication, Haraway (Haraway, D., (2003). The companion species manifesto: dogs, people, and significant otherness. Chicago,Prickly Paradigm Press.) extends her concept of the cyborg to explore how the figure of“companion species”can rethink the models of reality thattraditionally underpin cultural research. This paper investigates the kind of consumption worlds and consumption relations the ontology ofcompanion species suggests and what it offers in terms of understanding consumption in a post-human (and post-canine) consumer-behaviorlandscape. Following this, it proposes the concept of“companion-species consumption”(CSC) as a new ontology to extend interpretive research onconsumers and their pets (Hirschman, E. C., (1994). Consumers and their animal companions. J Consum Res, 20 (3), 616–632.; Holbrook, M.B.,Stephens, D.L., Day, E., Holbrook, S.M. and Strazar, G., (2001). A collective stereographic photo essay on key aspects of animal companionship: thetruth about dogs and cats. Academy of Marketing Science Review 1; AMS.; Belk, Russell W., (1996). Metaphoric relationships with pets Society &Animals: Social Scientific Studies of the Human Experience of Other Animals, vol. 4 (2), 121–145.) and to reflect current theory of the consumer–object relation. This research explores the potential of CSC through multi-site ethnography (Marcus, George E., (1995). Ethnography in/of the worldsystem: the emergence of multi-sited ethnography, Annu Rev Anthropol 95–117.) of a trans-national, highly-networked community of Afghanhounds and their exhibitors. The paper examines how companion species emerge across a range of cultural sites and documents the consumptionpractices stemming from the dichotomies between them. The conclusions inform dog-related marketing activity, advance consumer-research insightsinto the practices of dog-related avocational consumer groups, and extend existing theory of the consumer–object relation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-418
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number5
Early online date4 Sep 2007
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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