Using semiotic analysis, this study explores changes occurring in the societal perception of rabbits as farm animals as juxtaposed to their increasing popularity as domestic companions. This study is based on a preliminary hypothesis that rabbits are increasingly perceived and portrayed in media as domestic companion animals similar to cats and guinea pigs, which challenges a parallel narrative that views rabbits as commodities for their meat and fur. Operating within a theoretical framework that considers news media as both socially constructed reality and recorded history, the study examines the dynamics of change in numbers of coded news narratives drawn as a 1000-piece convenience sample from a database of news stories published worldwide between 1990 and 2011.
Torosyan, Gayane F. and Lowe, Brian
""Nobody Wants to Eat Them Alive:” Ethical Dilemmas and Dual Media Narratives on Domestic Rabbits as Pets and Commodity,"
Proceedings of the New York State Communication Association:
Vol. 2012, Article 9.
Available at: http://docs.rwu.edu/nyscaproceedings/vol2012/iss1/9