The Global Pigeon (Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries)

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9780226001890: The Global Pigeon (Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries)

The pigeon is the quintessential city bird. Domesticated thousands of years ago as a messenger and a source of food, its presence on our sidewalks is so common that people consider the bird a nuisance—if they notice it at all. Yet pigeons are also kept for pleasure, sport, and profit by people all over the world, from the “pigeon wars” waged by breeding enthusiasts in the skies over Brooklyn to the Million Dollar Pigeon Race held every year in South Africa.
Drawing on more than three years of fieldwork across three continents, Colin Jerolmack traces our complex and often contradictory relationship with these versatile animals in public spaces such as Venice’s Piazza San Marco and London’s Trafalgar Square and in working-class and immigrant communities of pigeon breeders in New York and Berlin. By exploring what he calls “the social experience of animals,” Jerolmack shows how our interactions with pigeons offer surprising insights into city life, community, culture, and politics. Theoretically understated and accessible to interested readers of all stripes, The Global Pigeon is one of the best and most original ethnographies to be published in decades.

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Although many people consider pigeon "rats with wings," in Piazza San Marco (Venice, Italy) they are considered sacred and are well fed by tourists eager to experience local culture. (Photo by the author)

Although Anna lives alone in a walk-up apartment in Manhattan, by feeding pigeons in the park she avoids feelings of social isolation. (Photo by the author)

Carmine has kept domesticated pigeons on his rooftop in Queens for over 75 years. As other Italians moved out of the neighborhood, he began to teach the art of "pigeon flying" to black and Puerto Rican boys who moved in. (Photo by Marcin Szczepanski)



Mehmet, a Turkish immigrant living in Berlin, finds sanctuary and a connection to his homeland in the pigeon coop. (Photo by Oliver Hartung)

Marty, seen here releasing homing pigeons on a "training toss," says that nothing compares to the thrill of seeing his birds return to his Bronx rooftop after a 400-mile marathon. (Photo by the author)

About the Author:

Colin Jerolmack is assistant professor of sociology and environmental studies at New York University.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The pigeon is the quintessential city bird. Domesticated thousands of years ago as a messenger and a source of food, its presence on our side walks is so common that people consider the bird a nuisance - if they notice it at all. Yet pigeons are also kept by people all over the world for pleasure, sport, and profit, from the pigeon wars waged by breeding enthusiasts in the skies over Brooklyn to the Million Dollar Pigeon Race held every year in South Africa. Drawing on more than three years of fieldwork across three continents, Colin Jerolmack traces our complex and often contradictory relationship with these versatile animals in public spaces such as Venice s Piazza San Marco and London s Trafalgar Square and in working-class and immigrant communities of pigeon breeders in New York and Berlin. By exploring what he calls the social experience of animals, Jerolmack shows how our interactions with pigeons offer surprising insights into city life, community, culture, and politics. Theoretically understated and accessible to interested readers of all stripes, The Global Pigeon is one of the best and most original ethnographies to be published in decades. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226001890

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The pigeon is the quintessential city bird. Domesticated thousands of years ago as a messenger and a source of food, its presence on our side walks is so common that people consider the bird a nuisance - if they notice it at all. Yet pigeons are also kept by people all over the world for pleasure, sport, and profit, from the pigeon wars waged by breeding enthusiasts in the skies over Brooklyn to the Million Dollar Pigeon Race held every year in South Africa. Drawing on more than three years of fieldwork across three continents, Colin Jerolmack traces our complex and often contradictory relationship with these versatile animals in public spaces such as Venice s Piazza San Marco and London s Trafalgar Square and in working-class and immigrant communities of pigeon breeders in New York and Berlin. By exploring what he calls the social experience of animals, Jerolmack shows how our interactions with pigeons offer surprising insights into city life, community, culture, and politics. Theoretically understated and accessible to interested readers of all stripes, The Global Pigeon is one of the best and most original ethnographies to be published in decades. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226001890

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