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The Social Value of Zoos


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Table of Contents

1. Context; 2. Ontology - animal exhibits and conservation goals; 3. Learning - social experiences and captive animals; 4. Morality - zoos as moral actors; 5. Pleasure - the educational leisure value proposition; 6. Meaning - constructing knowledge through discourse, dialogue, and metaphor; 7. Bonding - a socio-biological human need with important zoo mission implications; 8. Connectedness - animals, continuity, and belonging; 9. Identity - discovering self; 10. Activation - pro-environmental behavior; 11. Impact - collective conservation action; 12. Integration - the socially valuable zoo.

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This book situates zoos as trusted cultural institutions with valuable affordances for engaging people in natural resource conservation.

About the Author

John Fraser is a conservation psychologist, architect, and educator with over thirty years working with zoos and aquariums, and studying how they function in society. He is the President and CEO of Knology, a research institute in the USA, serves as Editor-in-Chief of Curator: The Museum Journal, and is a Past-President of the Society for Environment, Population and Conservation Psychology. Tawnya Switzer is a collaborative writer, who supports thought leaders at Knology, Open Society Foundations, Union Congregational Church, and the Transformative Justice in Education Center at UC Davis. A patterns-thinker, Tawnya focuses on dynamics, strategies, and high-impact communications that advance well-being, equity, justice, and sustainability.

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