This chapter develops an agenda for discussing less-than-convivial more-than-human relations. It reviews existing work on such relations before developing a terminology of ‘divergent conduct’ aiming to better express such relationships. The chapter uses an empirical case study of automated or robotic milking systems, and focuses on the relationships these establish between machines, humans, and cows in specific places. Divergent conduct aims to express how humans and nonhumans co-produce activities which are likely to differ from accounts of trouble-free introductions of technologies. The concept emphasises the agency of animals while paying attention to their relationships with people and machines. As such, it emphasises how farming is constituted in relation to multiple human and nonhuman requirements, and their related conducts, which may pull in different directions. The chapter argues that divergent conduct provides a way of exploring problematic entanglements in which inequalities of power can be many-layered and intersectional.
Holloway, L., & Bear, C. (2021). Exploring the human-animal-technology nexus: power relations and divergent conduct. The example of automated dairy farming. In A. Hovorka, S. McCubbin, & L. Van Patter (Eds.), A Research Agenda for Animal Geographies (55-68). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788979993.00010