Social movements, Vegetarianism
The vegetarian social movement is a “new” social movement based in lifestyle and cultural change. New social movements hold a strong emphasis on collective identity and social networks as a means to sustain participation. The majority of the social movement literature remains focused on movement engagement and mobilization while a large gap exists regarding disengagement. This project explores the barriers to vegetarian maintenance. The primary question answered is, why do some vegetarians and vegans backslide and withdraw from the practice? Fourteen individuals were interviewed to discover the social and cultural factors inherent in vegetarian instability. Over the course of the interviews, the project morphed into an analysis of why and how my respondents changed their food habits over time and what was the context that prompted these changes. Vegetarianism is a unique movement as definitions of what constitutes a vegetarian is rooted in the individual, idiosyncratic biographies of individuals. This study found the influence of family, traditions, labels/definitions, peers, gender and the lure of social status to be very significant regarding vegetarian flux. Results indicate that vegetarian membership is fluid and permeable, takes on a life course trajectory and is rooted within the context of many social and cultural factors. Uncovering the barriers to vegetarianism not only adds to the disengagement aspect of social movement research, but also hopes to iv aid movement leaders in overcoming this problem as well as further substantiate and progress the vegetarian social movement.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Hecht, Jaime Deborah, "The Vegetarian Social Movement An Analysis Of Withdrawal And Backsliding" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2049.