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UnleashedThe phenomena of status dogs and weapon dogs$
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Simon Harding

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300274

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300274.001.0001

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Motivations and characteristics of owners

Motivations and characteristics of owners

(p.64) (p.65) Four Motivations and characteristics of owners

Simon Harding

Policy Press

This chapter uses social field analysis derived from French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu to determine the motivations and characteristics of owners from different social fields. Dog choice is linked to canine brand values and functional requirements. A motivational typology is established including, entrepreneurship, protection, fashion and image and identity. Links to breeding and ownership are considered under each motivational category. Masculinity and self-image are linked to the habitus and levels of street capital. Links to gang activity in the USA and UK are revealed alongside use of dogs for criminal activity. Examples of use of dogs as weapons are provided. Finally the cultural, media and marketing influences behind this phenomenon are considered, including the influence of Hip Hop, pitbull merchandising etc which links to the violent branding image of the pitbull.

Keywords:   Motivations, Social fields, Bourdieu, Entrepreneurship, Protection, Criminal, Fashion, Image, Masculinity, Habitus

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