(Gallus gallus domesticus)
My PhD research focused on gendered commercial (peri)urban agriculture in Gaborone, Botswana. The majority of agricultural enterprises featured chickens, prompting me to consider their own circumstances and experiences within an intensive, vertically integrated poultry industry.
I embarked on a 'thought-experiment' to re-imagine urban form and function, and gender relations of power, as necessarily shaped by the role and agency of chickens themselves (rather than the men and women entrepreneurs whose businesses focused on poultry production, processing and marketing). This work reveals the ways in which chickens are wrapped up with, and indeed drive, social constructions of masculinity/femininity, material expressions of socioeconomic status and opportunity, and national pride premised upon this successful and lucrative realm of agricultural entrepreneurship.