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Asceticism and hedonism in research discourses of veg*anism

Asceticism and hedonism in research discourses of veg*anism Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the dominance of an ascetic discourse of veg*anism in social research literature, and to relate it to a dominant hierarchical ordering of Western diets (to refer collectively to veganism and vegetarianism). Design/methodology/approach – A review of the extant social research literature on veg*anism was undertaken in order to discern whether a consistent type of descriptive language existed. This facilitated an understanding of the way in which that language is constitutive of research generated understandings of veg*anism. Findings – An ascetic discourse of veg*anism is dominant in social research. This is reflected in the phraseology used by authors. Typical descriptive terms of a veg*an diet include “strict”, “restrictive”, or “avoidance”. This ascetic discourse reproduces the hierarchical ordering of Western diets such that veg*anism is denigrated and made to seem “difficult” and abnormal. Research limitations/implications – Veg*anism arguably promises multiple benefits for human, environmental, and nonhuman animal well‐being. The potential to realize those benefits is hampered by the perpetuation of an understanding of veg*anism as an ascetic practice. Originality/value – This paper provides the first comprehensive examination of the language used to describe veg*anism within social research. It can enhance reflexivity on the part of social researchers interested in veg*anism, and help inform research design. In providing an alternative hedonic discourse of veg*anism, this paper also makes a contribution towards realizing the potential benefits of veg*anism through making it a more attractive dietary practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

Asceticism and hedonism in research discourses of veg*anism

British Food Journal , Volume 110 (7): 11 – Jul 4, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/00070700810887176
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the dominance of an ascetic discourse of veg*anism in social research literature, and to relate it to a dominant hierarchical ordering of Western diets (to refer collectively to veganism and vegetarianism). Design/methodology/approach – A review of the extant social research literature on veg*anism was undertaken in order to discern whether a consistent type of descriptive language existed. This facilitated an understanding of the way in which that language is constitutive of research generated understandings of veg*anism. Findings – An ascetic discourse of veg*anism is dominant in social research. This is reflected in the phraseology used by authors. Typical descriptive terms of a veg*an diet include “strict”, “restrictive”, or “avoidance”. This ascetic discourse reproduces the hierarchical ordering of Western diets such that veg*anism is denigrated and made to seem “difficult” and abnormal. Research limitations/implications – Veg*anism arguably promises multiple benefits for human, environmental, and nonhuman animal well‐being. The potential to realize those benefits is hampered by the perpetuation of an understanding of veg*anism as an ascetic practice. Originality/value – This paper provides the first comprehensive examination of the language used to describe veg*anism within social research. It can enhance reflexivity on the part of social researchers interested in veg*anism, and help inform research design. In providing an alternative hedonic discourse of veg*anism, this paper also makes a contribution towards realizing the potential benefits of veg*anism through making it a more attractive dietary practice.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 4, 2008

Keywords: Veganism; Diet; Western hemisphere; Hierarchical control; Sociology

References