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Book: The Sheep People

Chapter: Animal Agency

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.26513


Chapter 3 makes a case for seeing animals as beings with agency. It challenges the recent archaeological theoretical discussions in which objects are afforded agency by discussing the nature of agency. It maps out how agency works as a cross-species interaction that produces meaning and particular, shared practices. The discussion draws upon feminist theory and critique of normative science, particularly the idea of mutual becoming and speciesism. A discussion of posthumanism brings out problems and possibilities within the field, and leads to the conclusion that regarding archaeology, an understanding of datasets informed by prehumanism should be sought. The chapter ends with a discussion of the ontological turn and how the theoretical framework can create an understanding of the ontological status given to animals in different societies.

Chapter Contributors

  • Kristin Armstrong Oma ( - kaoma) 'University of Stavanger'