Breeding Racism: The Imperial Battlefields of the “German” Shepherd Dog

Breeding Racism: The Imperial Battlefields of the “German” Shepherd Dog © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/156853008X357676 Society and Animals 16 (2008) 354-371 www.brill.nl/soan Breeding Racism: Th e Imperial Battlefi elds of the “German” Shepherd Dog Aaron Skabelund Assistant Professor, Department of History, Brigham Young University, 2140 JFSB, Provo, UT 84602, USA aaron_skabelund@byu.edu Received 7 March 2008, Accepted 23 June 2008 Abstract During the fi rst half of the twentieth century, the Shepherd Dog came to be strongly identifi ed with Imperial and Nazi Germany, as well as with many other masters in the colonial world. Th rough its transnational diff usion after World War I, the breed became a pervasive symbol of imperial aggression and racist exploitation. Th e 1930s Japanese empire subtly Japanized the dogs who became an icon of the Imperial Army. How could a cultural construct so closely associated with Germany come to represent many diff erent colonial regimes? Using Imperial Japan as a case study, this paper argues that this symbolic pliability is a derivative of the high functionality, wide adaptation, and conspicuous nature of the Shepherd Dog as protector, deterrent, and enforcer of social control. As a visible intermediary in hierarchal relationships between diff erent human groups, the Shepherd Dog became http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Society & Animals Brill

Breeding Racism: The Imperial Battlefields of the “German” Shepherd Dog

Society & Animals, Volume 16 (4): 354 – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2008 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1063-1119
eISSN
1568-5306
DOI
10.1163/156853008X357676
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/156853008X357676 Society and Animals 16 (2008) 354-371 www.brill.nl/soan Breeding Racism: Th e Imperial Battlefi elds of the “German” Shepherd Dog Aaron Skabelund Assistant Professor, Department of History, Brigham Young University, 2140 JFSB, Provo, UT 84602, USA aaron_skabelund@byu.edu Received 7 March 2008, Accepted 23 June 2008 Abstract During the fi rst half of the twentieth century, the Shepherd Dog came to be strongly identifi ed with Imperial and Nazi Germany, as well as with many other masters in the colonial world. Th rough its transnational diff usion after World War I, the breed became a pervasive symbol of imperial aggression and racist exploitation. Th e 1930s Japanese empire subtly Japanized the dogs who became an icon of the Imperial Army. How could a cultural construct so closely associated with Germany come to represent many diff erent colonial regimes? Using Imperial Japan as a case study, this paper argues that this symbolic pliability is a derivative of the high functionality, wide adaptation, and conspicuous nature of the Shepherd Dog as protector, deterrent, and enforcer of social control. As a visible intermediary in hierarchal relationships between diff erent human groups, the Shepherd Dog became

Journal

Society & AnimalsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2008

Keywords: BREED; RACE; GERMANY; SHEPHERD DOGS; FASCISM; JAPAN; IMPERIALISM

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