Exploring Trans-Biopolitics – Attitudes and Activism Among Vegan Communities in Oxford
I’ve recently submitted my undergraduate dissertation titled ‘Exploring Trans-Biopolitics – Attitudes and Activism Among Vegan Communities in Oxford’ and I thought it would be fun to share the project with you here on HJA. Even though I cannot share the actual dissertation with you directly I can give you an idea of the goals and broader details of the project. I can however show you a poster that I showcased (and won a commendation award for) during the Oxford Brookes GetPublished student conference 2017, and is now available through the Oxford Brookes’s Institutional Repository (RADAR).
Here is the abstract I included with my dissertation submission:
The vegan movement is growing with exceptional speed but remains largely unexplored within the field of anthropology. This and other similar studies on veganism are part of a growing body of research into human-animal relations. According to existing literature veganism is considered a subgroup of vegetarianism and animal rights movements, and although veganism is tied very closely to animal rights, we should in fact consider it a standalone social movement. To better understand veganism, theoretical trans-biopolitics is potentially a useful way to think about the motivations of animal rights activism and the construction of vegan ideologies. Trans-biopolitics describes population level inter-species control through systems of classification. This study explores the experiences of eleven vegans from the Oxford area in order to examine their attitudes towards activism and evaluate the role of trans-biopolitics in the vegan movement. Analysis of the results suggests that there is a positive correlation between veganism and increased engagement with social issues including human and non-human animal rights. There are also parallels between the ideas described by trans-biopolitics and the ways in which vegans construct their views of the world. Building on the concept of trans-biopolitics as a way of describing population level control, I introduce the idea of trans-biopower to describe the power exercised over individual lives and bodies. By linking the concept of trans-biopolitics and trans-biopower to the construction of vegan ideologies this study will contribute to future research on similar topics.
You can visit the RADAR page here.
Here is the poster that was presented at the GetPublished student conference 2017 (click on the image to go to a full size PDF):
Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts. As always thank you for reading, and don’t forget to like and subscribe, and follow HJA on Facebook and Twitter.