Vegan Rhetoric: Online Discussion Platforms
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 13:58 by Annalise Shaw
This MRP addresses the rhetoric used in regard to veganism by analyzing comments made within forums on the social media platform Reddit. It focuses on analyzing the rhetoric used by individuals who follow a vegan diet, as well as the response rhetoric from those who are anti-vegan and/or do not follow a vegan diet. This MRP also addresses the stigma present towards vegans and veganism as a whole. In addition, this MRP discusses why social media is being used to investigate vegan rhetoric and what strategies both sides of the veganism debate use to advocate their viewpoint. The objective of this MRP is to examine the normalization and stigmatization of veganism online as well as the role that the rhetoric surrounding veganism plays for both vegans and non-vegans on social media. The literature review addresses the overarching themes of vegan rhetoric, with a focus on the differing rhetoric used by vegans and non-vegans. Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) was used as a theoretical framework for addressing the research questions. The study explores the normalization and stigmatization of veganism online and examines the potential for rhetorical consistencies and patterns that can be found within the rhetoric surrounding veganism on an online forum. The findings reveal that veganism is both stigmatized and normalized online. The analyses demonstrate that veganism is stigmatized more than it is normalized. Rhetorical consistencies and patterns were found to be commonly used by both parties to support their position in the veganism debate including strategies involving environmental, health, and ethical rhetoric. In future studies, it would be of interest to expand the data collection in order to find evolving keywords and patterns surrounding online vegan rhetoric.