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Digital activisms of the Afro-vegan movement: an analysis of performative narratives

PhD Thesis in Sociology by Arthur Saldanha dos Santos at UFRGS


This thesis analyzes the performative narratives of the activists of the Afro Vegan Movement on social media and their tensioning with the meanings and identities of veganism. The general objective was to understand the digital activism of the Afro Vegan Movement from the performative narratives of activists on social media. An analysis of the Instagram profiles of 14 activists who identified themselves as Afrovegans and active in the movement was carried out. In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted with these activists, based on a semi-structured script with standardized questions. The collection of digital data took place between May and December 2020. In all, 6,870 posts were analyzed, divided into 14 themes. Four topics were published more often by the profiles of activists analyzed: accessible vegan recipes (210 publications); affordable vegan dishes (195 publications); vegan recipes (191 publications); and ancestral food (110 publications). These activists were classified based on the following social attributes: gender, racial identification, age group and education, with four men and ten women, aged between 18 and 35 years, one person with incomplete secondary education and 13 people with complete higher education. Evidence allows us to conclude that anti-speciesism and anti-racism are the main and recurring agendas in the actions and agendas of the Afro Vegan Movement. However, unlike previous studies that suggest a convergence between the meanings of these guidelines, the results demonstrate that the Afro Vegan Movement differentiates anti-racism and anti-speciesism in collective practices. Activists are committed to questioning vegan food practices, looking at the social inequalities that exist in vegan spaces. They criticize the elitist universe of vegan consumption and the reproduction of racist practices within it, highlighting the multiple forms of oppression and hierarchy that have characterized these spaces. In addition, these activists seek to offer vegan food alternatives accessible to social minorities, rescuing customs, traditions and food routines of ancestral peoples. In this way, they seek to reaffirm the notion of African ancestry as a way of reconnecting black peoples to the origins of food and to their own origins. This implies adapting these activists' eating practices and routines to specific cultural repertoires, which are usually found in the alignment of the Afro Vegan Movement's agenda with the Black Movement.


PDF in Portuguese




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