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What is a “true” vegetarian?: Some reflections from an online Q&A
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper I reflect on a preliminary analysis of discussions in an online Q&A (Yahoo! Answers) about “true” ways of being a vegetarian. From the search term “why vegetarian” I sampled the first 100 threads that fitted my inclusion criteria, i.e., threads that clearly discussed vegetarianism in relation to food (most excluded threads were judged to be troll threads posted as provocations), corresponding to 198 webpages. From this sample, my focus was on a sub-sample of threads discussing the eating of (i) fish, (ii) eggs and (iii) meat substitutes (often referred to as “fake meat”). Based on my analysis, I discuss the boundary work performed by the participants and argue, in relation a rather comprehensive literature suggesting that vegetarianism is a highly ambiguous term, that the boundaries drawn up are in fact quite clear and expressed with certainty and sometimes even aggressively. The discussions thus reveal an interactive dynamic in which some participants assume the role of telling the others what being a vegetarian or a vegan truly entails, and why others are wrong.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics; Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-329978OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-329978DiVA: diva2:1144042
Conference
Urban food studies – The city as a meeting point for tastes, dreams and ideas
Available from: 2017-09-25 Created: 2017-09-25 Last updated: 2017-09-25

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