Entanglements with empathy: a critical exploration of more-than-human empathy in a school of veterinary medicine

Donald, Megan Martha (2018) Entanglements with empathy: a critical exploration of more-than-human empathy in a school of veterinary medicine. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3348255


This thesis critically investigates the profession of veterinary medicine by utilising a more- than human conceptual and methodological framework. Understandings of veterinary medicine – as a science and as an art – have traditionally remained under the remit of the medical sciences and have been popularised by a unrealistic imaginary. This research offers alternative ethical narratives to this framing which trouble the profession’s enduring dualisms of science and emotion, and human and animal. It is these dualisms which work to limit the role of the animal in veterinary medicine whilst encouraging a culture of emotional resilience in the profession.
Taking a school of veterinary medicine within the UK as its empirical focus, this thesis specifically explores how veterinary students learn to become ‘sensuous scientists’ as they move through the multiple sites of the vet school: the lecture theatre, the anatomy lab, the farm and the small animal hospital. The affectively-attuned, ethnographic methodology allows for ethical tensions between humans, animals and materials to be raised in the research. ‘More-than-human empathy’ emerges as a key analytic within the thesis.
As a result, this research fully acknowledges the animal as an actor in their care, demonstrates how affect and emotion are formative of veterinary medicine and critically discusses the overlooked more-than-human politics inherent in veterinary practice and empathy beyond the species divide.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Human geography, veterinary medicine, empathy, emotional geography, animal geography.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Funder's Name: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Supervisor's Name: Lorimer, Professor Hayden and Shaw, Doctor Ian
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Megan Donald
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-72459
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 May 2019 07:37
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 13:00
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/72459

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