Thesis subject

MSc thesis: The impact of individual shifts to plant-based diets on close relationships and eating practices

Plant-based diets are the future. Currently, the protein transition is still in its infancy. There is a future scenario that more and more people will encounter problems in their social environments due to different diets. For example in romantic relationships, one partner becomes a vegetarian; the other eats meat. People may critique each other’s food choices or feel they are being criticized, due to different beliefs that underlie food choices.

What are the implications of our food choices for our relationships and social environments? What do conflicting food identities mean for eating practices at home, with family or friends (intra/inter-generational, in romantic relationships, between roommates)? What role do emotions play?

The thesis will aim to answer these and other questions by studying relationships between omnivores/flexitarians and vegetarians/vegans. The thesis will be qualitative; applied methods may be interviewing, focus groups, or Emotion Networking. The latter is a method derived from Cultural Heritage Studies and new to the field of food studies. It gives the opportunity to study conflicting perspectives and emotions and how these change and evolve during a structured dialogue.

Are you interested in this topic? Please contact Yolie Michielsen (