Exploring young women's vegan experiences in Aotearoa : "[E]verything apart from white men is under threat…" : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University, Albany, Aotearoa New Zealand

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In the last ten years, veganism has transformed from a fringe social justice movement into something akin to a trendy lifestyle choice. Across the Western world, young women are its most likely followers. To explore this shift, this study sought to understand how young vegan women negotiate being vegan among mainstream norms and pressures in Aotearoa New Zealand. It looked to see how young women's vegan experiences intersected with veganism as a social justice movement. The role of social media platforms was also investigated. Assuming a critical feminist standpoint, narrative discursive analytics were applied to the narratives of eight self‐identifying vegan women. Their narratives exhibited high levels of stigma, requiring active management against mainstream norms. In part, neoliberal and postfeminist contexts shaped the women's negotiation of veganism, interpellating them into regimes that positioned health as an individualised responsibility. Concurrently, veganism was a significant source of meaning‐making that touched on such spheres as knowledge production, spirituality, and multiple, intersecting oppressions. Overall, my analysis emphasises that young vegan women today occupy a space in which veganism represents more than a diet and yet, they remain constrained by grander socio‐cultural, pollical, and historical scripts, curbing radical political potential.