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DOI: 10.18413/2313-8912-2017-3-2-25-35

TO THE FAITHFUL DECLASSED: HEALTH RISK AS SPECIESIST CAMOUFLAGE

The concept of "declassed" usually refers to human animals in a marginal situation, this is, it is a lexical item with the [+ human] feature. Western dominant discourse does not use the term "marginal" to refer to nonhuman animals because it integrates them into a lower category: they are objects or belongings with no resemblance to a live being. So, their identity is denied and they become entities without needs or abilities of living beings, unless their representation refers to something risky or dangerous for humans. In this case, they seem to be a risk because they are alive.

The present work aims to analyze the construction of speciesist representations in graphic press speaking about homeless dogs. We will take as a starting point the hypothesis that these representations construct the concept of ​​"homeless animal" as a sanitary risk for the human species and, therefore, nonhuman animals are described as the enemy and their resemblance is not the resemblance of a live being. We will analyze  three texts, extracted from the digital versions of three different newspapers, published in different countries and written in different languages.

We will adopt Social Semiotics by Hodge and Kress [1988] as the main theoretical framework. In order to cover both verbal and visual material, the development of the analysis will adopt the tools proposed by Hodge and Kress [1993] for the assignment of thematic papers and description of processes in the verbal material together with the elements systematized by Kress and van Leeuwen [1996] for image analysis and Ekman [2003] and Kendon [2004] for gestural analysis.

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