Memes and Veganism: Representations of Vegan Identity and Its Alterity

Camila Joustra, Juan Alfaro, Claudia Giacoman


This research aims to identify the underlying discourses in the representation of vegan identity and its alterity in memes. We made a structural analysis of 276 memes published in two Chilean vegan accounts on Instagram. The results reveal that the discursive structures of the memes studied consist of two evaluation axis (one practical and one ethical-political) that generate a typology of representations about vegan identity (authentic vegan) and its alterity (impostor nonvegan, authentic nonvegan, impostor vegan). We also found two interactions that deepen the definition of the authentic vegan identity. In these interactions, conflict and ridicule toward the nonvegan prevail. We conclude that online contexts and the use of memes as the analysis unit allow an emerging conflictive side of veganism that had been hidden in previous works. This article invites others to delve into the study of vegan identities and existing negotiation strategies in both online and offline spaces.


memes, veganism, authenticity, identity, Instagram, discourse analysis

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