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Nyanimism i Sverige: En studie om förmänskligande av hunden i samband med dennes död
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Neo-animism in Sweden : A study on the humanizing of dogs in connection with their death (English)
Abstract [en]

This study focusses on how people in Sweden commemorate their dogs and handle their demise. By examining memorial texts for dogs that are presented by their owners on internet forums, memorial texts that are used on gravestones on an animal cemetery as well as an interview with an animal nurse, the study examines how dogs are humanized and treated in human-like ways. With theories about new animism, social acceptance (nomos) and ontology as the theoretical framework, the study provides an analysis of strategies by which people tend to humanize dogs in ways that are often similar to the handling and mourning of human deceased.                                   

            The empirical data illustrate how dog owners in Swedish society who have lost their beloved pet express themselves in terms of religious terminology. According to memorial texts, the dogs go to heaven, where they may be reunited with their owners, become free from their diseases, and in some cases they are buried in separate graves in animal cemeteries. The study also illustrates how dogs in Sweden today have almost equal opportunities and access to medical care as human beings. The results show that many religious beliefs that may exist around a human person´s death are very similar to the practices and attitudes that surround the death of dogs. From a theoretical view point this can be interpreted both as a strategy and the result of a humanization of the dog as a pet with close relations to humans. It suggests that a type of new animism is active and present in the Swedish society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 36 p.
Keyword [sv]
Animism, Ontologi, Hund, Sällskapsdjur, Minnestexter, Djur, Djurkyrkogårdar
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-43270OAI: diva2:812532
Subject / course
Religious Studies
Educational program
Lärarprogrammet, inriktning mot verksamhet i grundskolans senare år och gymnasiet
Available from: 2015-06-03 Created: 2015-05-19 Last updated: 2015-06-03Bibliographically approved

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Henrik, Thörne
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