The Global Pigeon
The Global Pigeon
"Colin Jerolmack’s book is a wonderful celebration of the ways some people interact with pigeons."
Times Higher Education
"I gladly assert that this innovative monograph belongs to the small and excellent body of work that carries urban ethnography into the twenty first century, and this is no small feat at all."
City & Community
"This is a scholarly but highly accessible account of some of the ways in which human beings interact with pigeons.Jerolmack draws on an impressive breadth of ethnographic research conducted across several years and three continents, and constructs a sustained theoretical argument calling for the integration of studies of human-animal interaction into the sociological canon, and polemicising convincingly with anthropocentric as well as natureromanticising accounts of the relationship between human beings and the natural world."
European Journal of Sociology
". . . In New York, hundreds of people casually toss chunks of bagel or pizza crust at feral pigeons; others carry whole bags of bread to feed them with, despite long-standing efforts by ciry officials to discourage the practice. In The Global Pigeon, his ethnography of human-pigeon encounters, Colin Jerolmack makes an imaginative and convincing case against interpreting any of these activities as ’driven by a singular deep-seated need to connect to nature’, as environmental scholars persuaded by the biophilia hypothesis might."
Times Literary Supplement
"The Global Pigeon combines detailed and sustained observation of the kind ordinarily focused on one research site with a global reach and fieldwork done in a variety of places, all over the world. The overall result is an intellectually satisfying book that helps us see complexity where we wouldn’t have otherwise, and gives us interesting reading about a world of interaction that goes on around us all the time."
Howard S. Becker | author of Writing for Social Scientists
"The Global Pigeon effortlessly straddles the literature on urban community and environmental sociology, as well as speaking to debates about identity and identity-formation and the literature about race, ethnicity, and inequality. Its ability to bridge different literatures will, I think, make it extremely widely read and probably widely imitated."
Iddo Tavory | New School for Social Research
“This is the most important book yet written about human and animal interaction. It is full of surprising discoveries. Colin Jerolmack shows why the topic is important: it reveals what it is like to be human.”
Randall Collins, University of Pennsylvania
"This book makes very enjoyable reading due to its well-balanced combination of vivid ethnographic prose and jargon-free theoretical interpretation. It is highly recommended for lecturers and students in anthropology interested in urban ethnography, human–animal relations, and cultures of masculinity."
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Pedestrian Pigeon
1 Feeding the Pigeons: Sidewalk Sociability in Greenwich Village
2 “Do Not Feed the Pigeons”: Cultural Heritage and the Politics of Place in Venice and London
Part 2: The Totemic Pigeon
3 New York’s Rooftop Pigeon Flyers: Crafting Nature and Anchoring the Self
4 The Turkish Pigeon Caretakers of Berlin: Primordial Ties in a Migrant Community
5 Joey’s Brooklyn Pet Shop: Cosmopolitan Ties in a Changing Urban Landscape
Part 3: Deep Play
6 The Bronx Homing Pigeon Club: Nature, Nurture, and the Enchantment of “the Poor Man’s Horse Racing”
7 South Africa’s Million Dollar Pigeon Race: Rationalizing and Globalizing “the Pigeon Game”
8 Conclusion: Changing Ecologies