Persuasion in Discourse: Evaluation Strategies of Vegans

Due to their minority position in society, vegans, or individuals who refrain from consuming animal products, are constantly subject to criticisms of their way of life. As a result, I argue that the linguistic tools vegans utilize to characterize their lifestyle play a crucial role in the success of their interactions and in the process of building their identities. This honors project will involve utilizing sociolinguistic methods of analysis to examine the specific language resources vegans use to present themselves to both other vegans and to non-vegans. The data for this study will be at least five sociolinguistic interviews with vegans of various backgrounds and who have been practicing the lifestyle for various periods of time. The recorded interviews will be carried out at each individual’s home and will investigate each participant’s “How I became a Vegan” story. Using Martin and White’s (2005) Appraisal framework for investigating evaluation, I will perform a discourse analysis (Schiffrin, 1994) of vegan speech to identify the preferred methods of evaluation vegans utilize.


Works Cited:

Schiffrin, Deborah. (1994). Approaches to Discourse. Oxford: Blackwell.

Martin, J.R. and White, P.R.R. (2005). The language of evaluation: Appraisal in English. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.