Author: Macario B. Lacbawan

Research Article

Year 2016, Volume 16 Number 2
Pages: 39-47

Abstract

The key to understanding any social phenomenon is to follow how actors tread the social landscape and describe how they form groups, fuse meanings, and create associations with different frames. In this paper, I employ Bruno Latour’s reconceptualization of assemblage to trace how NGOs and other actors create assemblages by fusing or defusing dog-eating with discourses on dirt, epidemic, and human rights. More specifically, NGOs such as Linis Gobyerno and Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF) produce assemblages that align dog-eating with sanitation, violence, and epidemic. Conversely, supporters of the practice try to invert these claims by foregrounding dog-meat consumption as an entitlement that is protected by both local and international legal codes. This paper also engages with previous attempts to analyze dog-eating and their failure to deal with the quotidian ways in which actors bundle the practice with multiple frames. Rather than presupposing how peoples’ discursive understanding of food as inflections of deep binary-oppositions, or an epiphenomenon of productive forces, I opine that we must refocus on how actors themselves interpret contentious food practices by following their action in a flattened social world.

Keywords: Assemblage, Northern Philippines, Dog-eating, Food, Bruno Latour, Social Analysis