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Main page / "Knowledge. Understanding. Skill" Journal / Contents / 2014 / No. 2

Bobyleva N. I., Eseeva O. V. The Semiotics of "WolfDogHuman" Relations and Their Reflection in the Cultures Texts

(Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Arkhangelsk)

Abstract ◊ The images of the wolf and the dog cause strong emotions among people. These emotions are based on physical sensations of fear, joy or indifference. The work objective is to study the socio-cultural antagonism of the familiar images of the wolf and the dog, its reasons and consequences.

The article presents an extensive historiographical review of this issue in Russian literature. Writers and hunters S. T. Aksakov and L. P. Sabaneev were the first who dedicated their works to wolves in Russian. In the 20th century, I. P. Pavlov, L. V. Krushinskiy, N. N. Ladygina-Kots, K. E. Fabri studied dog behaviour and monographs about the wolf were published (e.g. by D. I. Bibikova, M. P. Pavlova, Ya. K. Badridze). The USSR witnessed the time of the development of applied cynology (A. P. Mazover, E. I. Shereshevskiy, A. T. and S. D. Voilochnikovs). Translations of international popular science and fiction books about wolves and dogs were published (E. Thompson Seton, K. Lorenz, F. Mowat, B. Grzimek, J. Herriot, G. Durrell, J. Marek, K. Pryor). In modern Russia the contemporary culturological school of thought is represented with works by Z. P. Sokolova, V. Yu. Mikhailina, M. F. Kosareva, etc. A review of major Russian literature pointed to the fact that biological, ethnographic, linguistic research was prevailing. It revealed the deficit of national social and anthropological studies.

Wild wolves (Canis lupus) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) are biological relatives and cultural opposites at the same time. The wolf has always been seen as an enemy, the dog — as a friend. At present, the wolf and the dog have swapped the social roles. In the second half of the 20th century, the wolf needs protection; animal protectors write and speak about the wolf genocide. At the same time, the most interesting cultural process has started in the contemporary world: a fashion for wolves. Humans take interest in the cross-breeding of dogs and wolves (wolf-dog hybrids such as Saarloos wolfdog, Ceskoslovenský Vlciak, Lupo italiano). Furthermore, packs of stray dogs have become a real danger for Russian cities in the 21st century.

The article states that the familiar images of the wolf and the dog are in a social conflict now. There is the phenomenon of “domestic” wolves and wild dogs.

Keywords: cultural image, wild animal, pet, wolf, dog, social conflict.


Bobyleva Nadezhda Igorevna, Candidate of Science (biology), associate professor, associate professor of the Department of Social Work and Social Security, the Integrated Safety Institute, Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University. Postal address: 8 Kutuzov St., Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation, 163012. Tel.: +7 (902) 195-94-48. E-mail: pur-navolok@yandex.ru

Eseeva Olga Vladimirovna, Candidate of Science (history), associate professor, associate professor of the Department of Social Work and Social Security, the Integrated Safety Institute, Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University. Postal address: 8 Kutuzov St., Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation, 163012. Tel.: +7 (921) 480-59-01. E-mail: eseevaolga@mail.ru

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Citation: Bobyleva N. I., Eseeva O. V. The Semiotics of "WolfDogHuman" Relations and Their Reflection in the Culture’s Texts // Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie. 2014. 2. S. 91–101.

RUSSIAN VERSION


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