Sociologists have contributed to the development of the animal studies field in recent decades. However, many of these ventures have been anthropocentric, stopping short of sociological calls for animal liberation despite the fact that critical sociological concepts are often the (unspoken) antecedents of such work. Here, we present a systematic review of peer-reviewed sociological articles on human–animal relationships since 1979. Our analysis identified key themes supporting charges of anthropocentrism, but also aspects of politicised animal sociology. Based on this we call for sociological animal studies to incorporate a specifically Emancipatory Animal Sociology: an approach grounded in a social justice and emancipatory praxis that explicitly and critically engages with the material conditions of animals’ lives, taking into account the experiences and knowledge of activists and others working directly with animals and, where possible, centres the animals themselves.
- animal sociology
- literature review