Who Are We Talking About Anyway?: Anthropomorphism and Its Implications in Wildlife Films and Biology Textbooks
Student paper other, 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Vem är det vi egentligen pratar om? : Antropomorfism och dess implikationer I naturfilm och läroböcker i biologi (Swedish)
In this study I investigate anthropomorphism and its use in biology textbooks and wildlife documentaries. Through the use of critical discourse analysis and with the help of three analytical tools, Hillevi Ganetz's concept of the cultural boomerang, gender and sexuality, I attempt to investigate to what extent anthropomorphism is used and which implications can be found in the material. My analysis shows that both the textbooks and wildlife films generally avoid explicit forms of anthropomorphism but that anthropomorphic terminology and language is quite common in the context of reproduction, sexual activities and parenting. In the textbooks the authors often seem aware of the anthropomorphic nature of some words and therefore use quotation marks as a strategy to both use the humanizing terms but still show their ambivalence with them. In the essay I argue that the textbooks and the wildlife films' use of anthropomorphic terms often reinforce gender stereotypes and naturalize heteronormative discourses. The usage of human culture-specific terms seems to be a way of explaining complex concepts, but the connotations are problematic from this study's feminist perspective in its naturalizing tendencies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 36 p.
Anthropomorphism, gender, sexuality
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-43540OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-43540DiVA: diva2:942501
Subject / course
Straube, Wibke, Universitetslektor
Mellström, Ulf, Professor