"It's not just a diet" : identity, commitment, and social networks in vegans
Cherry, Elizabeth Regan
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Using interviews with twenty-four self-defined vegans, this project analyzes the differing practices of punk and nonpunk vegans. Vegans are strict vegetarians who exclude all animal products from their diet. Punk vegans have strong vegan identities and are highly committed to veganism, but nonpunk vegans exhibit weaker vegan identities and are less committed to veganism. The different practices are shown to be dependent upon social networks and embeddedness in those networks. Punk vegans have strong social networks that are supportive of veganism, whereas nonpunks do not have such support from their social networks. This work contributes to sociological literature on subcultures and social movements, by focusing on an action-oriented subculture that is also a culture-oriented social movement. It also contributes to the literature on social networks, by showing the enduring effects of such networks on identity and commitment.