Sociological analyses of social interaction have been primarily directed toward human-to-human exchange. Recently, some have begun to actively question that stance. Challenges are found in new theoretical ideas and in empirical study—experimental, field, and survey data on people's attitudes and behaviors toward nonhumans. Such developments are leading many scholars to carve out a more central role for animals, objects, images, and both memories and projections of the self and others in the study of social interaction. In this article, I review these innovative ideas, pursuing four specific tasks. First, I briefly review the theoretical grounds that eliminated nonhumans from studies of social interaction. Next, I present new theories and empirical studies that construct a role for nonhumans in social interaction. Third, I review surveys that document popular perceptions of human/nonhuman interaction. I conclude by proposing some conceptual guidelines that might bring nonhumans into our contemporary analytic frames.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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