Publication details [#13309]

Jerolmack, Colin. 2008. How Pigeons Became Rats: The Cultural-Spatial Logic of Problem Animals. Social Problems 55 (1) : 72–94. 23 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


This article focuses on the process of creating cultural trends in relation to specific species. The study is based on articles from the New York Times (from 1851 to 2006) and other newspapers (from 1980 to 2006) and draws on interactionist theories of social problems and cultural geography. The author argues that the depiction of animals as problems relies upon cultural understandings of nature/culture relationships which form "imaginative geographies". The analysis shows that metaphors such as "rats with wings" exhibit society's perspectives and anxieties about pigeons. Overall, the study expands on social problems that deal with animals and space.