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Christopher Bear & Lewis Holloway

In: The SAGE Handbook of Nature: Three Volume Set

Chapter 43: Redistributing Labour in Automated Milking Systems and the More-Than-Human (Co)Production of Dairy Farming

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Redistributing Labour in Automated Milking Systems and the More-Than-Human (Co)Production of Dairy Farming
Redistributing Labour in Automated Milking Systems and the More-Than-Human (Co)Production of Dairy Farming
Christopher BearLewis Holloway
Introduction

This chapter explores the more-than-human redistribution of productive labour in Automated Milking Systems (AMS). Moving away from employing ‘nature’ as an analytical concept, we focus on practices, actions and encounters between heterogeneous actants, rather than assuming intrinsic ontological differences between (for instance) cows, humans and robots. AMS are designed to reduce the amount of human labour in dairy farming, by allowing cows to ‘choose’ when to be milked by a milking robot, and moving farmers’ management of herds from the barn to the office, as they make use of data automatically collected during milking. The chapter explores ...

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