Animalization is both a symbolic and structural process that renders some bodies cognitively, physically, biologically, and even evolutionarily “Other” to the effect of normalizing and rationalizing unequal modes of production and structural violence. This article argues that Appalachians, like the peoples of other colonized regions, have historically been framed as less than human, ignorant, dangerous, undeveloped, and in need of civilizing. Relatedly, the introduction of institutionalized speciesism in the region (namely, the “fur” trade and animal agriculture) facilitated an in-group/out-group binary that would permeate colonial culture and establish an economic system built on the domination of others. In light of these intersections, this article invites sociologists to consider the Appalachian case study. Specifically, it considers how sociology may have contributed to the animalization of Appalachia and set into motion a legacy of cultural and political marginalization. To initiate this area of inquiry, critical animal studies theory is applied to three foundational sociological surveys of the region to briefly analyze and ascertain how researchers’ depictions may have shaped Appalachians as animalistic “Others.”

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