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You are what you eat? Vegetarianism, health and identity

Fox, N. and Ward, K.J. (2008) You are what you eat? Vegetarianism, health and identity. Social Science & Medicine, 66 (12). pp. 2585-2595. ISSN 0277-9536

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This paper examines the views of ‘health vegetarians’ through a qualitative study of an online vegetarian message board. The researcher participated in discussions on the board, gathered responses to questions from 33 participants, and conducted follow-up e-mail interviews with 18 of these participants. Respondents were predominantly from the United States, Canada and the UK. Seventy per cent were female, and ages ranged from 14 to 53 years, with a median of 26 years. These data are interrogated within a theoretical framework that asks, ‘what can a vegetarian body do?’ and explores the physical, psychic, social and conceptual relations of participants. This provides insights into the identities of participants, and how diet and identity interact. It is concluded that vegetarianism is both a diet and a bodily practice with consequences for identity formation and stabilisation.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2008 Elsevier. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Social Science and Medicine. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self archiving policy.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2008 12:54
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:56
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.02.011
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.02.011
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4074

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