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Title: Transgressing human lines, crossing animal territories: A review of human-otter interactions in Singapore
Keywords: animal geographies, animal transgressions, human-animal interactions, otters in Singapore, transgression, urban space
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: LOW SZE TING (2018). Transgressing human lines, crossing animal territories: A review of human-otter interactions in Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: With the introduction of ‘new’ animal geographies, many geographers have alluded to the entanglements of human-animal relations in space, place and scale as a result of the everincreasing human-animal encounters. Such encounters are increasing in frequency in the highly urbanized Singapore. Through the analysis of human-otter encounters in Singapore, I seek to challenge the idea of how society often delimits urban spaces as human spaces by using transgression as a method to better understand human-animal relations. Thus, this thesis hopes to contribute to existing animal geography literature in three ways. First, by focusing on animal and human transgression, I seek to substantiate the potential of the concept of transgression, since there are few studies on it. Moreover, the existing literature on transgression often merely alludes to human groups as the transgressors. Second, by focusing on otters that has a predominant positive connotation to its portrayal, I hope to expand the range and variety of animals studied in animal geographies. Third, I will adopt the idea of human ‘transgression’ into animal space as an expansion of existing animal geography studies that consider animal transgressions, challenging the idea of how society delimits urban spaces as human spaces. Building upon Cresswell (1992; 1996)’s use of transgression as a method to underscore the underlying values of society, I examine how otter transgressions into human territory and human ‘transgressions’ into animal territory are reacted to and represented by the media and by the otter-loving community. Through discourse analysis and semi-structured interviews, I hope to better understand the underlying values society has with regards to animals. Thus, I argue that society does not always delimit the urban space to human space, and I also posit that society’s positionality with nature suggests that they are of a higher order than the otters in terms of power.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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