Vegetarians in modern Beijing: food, identity and body techniques in everyday experience

Wang, Yahong (2020) Vegetarians in modern Beijing: food, identity and body techniques in everyday experience. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This study investigates how self defined vegetarians in modern Beijing construct their identity through everyday experience in the hope that it may contribute to a better understanding of the development of individuality and self identity in Chinese society in a post traditional order, and also contribute to understanding the development of the vegetarian movement in a non--‘Western’ context. It is perhaps the first scholarly attempt to study the vegetarian community in China that does not treat it as an Oriental phenomenon isolated from any outside influence. Using qualitative data collected from interviews with vegetarians and non vegetarians, observation and text from social media, this study finds that the motivations behind vegetarians in modern Beijing are highly similar to the motivations revealed in studies of vegetarians in other societies. The religious influence may be especially noticeable in the local context and is often combined with other arguments for vegetarianism, such as ethics. Vegetarians in Beijing have developed different strategies to maintain their vegetarian identity in a mostly non vegetarian society, including taking more control of their own diet, using rhetoric to avoid direct confrontation and making certain compromises. Vegetarianism related organizations are important in forming the vegetarian community, yet a general depoliticisation of vegetarianism in China makes it difficult to strive for more rights for vegetarians. The thesis suggests areas for future research about the vegetarian community in China, the global vegetarian movement and how it may contribute to future policy making.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: vegetarianism, modern China, identification.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Philo, Professor Gregory
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Miss Yahong Wang
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-77857
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 Dec 2019 10:13
Last Modified: 24 Dec 2019 10:16
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/77857

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