Overcoming (vegan) burnout: Mass-gatherings can provide respite and rekindle shared identity and social action efforts in moralised minority groups

Annayah Prosser, Saffron O'Neill, Lorraine Whitmarsh, Jan Willem Bolderdijk, Tim Kurz, Leda Blackwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Minority actors can play an important role in social change processes, by refuting the majority social norm and modelling alternative pathways for society. However, acting in the minority can be difficult, and minority actors may encounter several obstacles on their path to social change. These obstacles might become so great that they experience ‘activist burnout’ and social isolation from their practices and may stop acting in pursuit of social change altogether. Here, we explore an event-based intervention that may encourage and help maintain minority-driven social change in the environmental context. Through on-site field interviews at an identity-centring event, we outline how ‘The Vegan Campout’, acts to validate and empower vegans to act in pursuit of social change. Our analysis demonstrates that the Vegan Campout functioned as a space where vegan identity, food and action was centred and celebrated. It was an important space for vegans to gain strength and ‘rekindle’ their vegan and activist identities and their activism efforts. Overall, these interviews show how attending an identity-centring event is an empowering experience for moralised minority groups working towards social change, which might protect their mental health, and bolster collective efficacy and motivation to engage in activism in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Psychology
Publication statusAcceptance date - 29 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • vegan
  • veganism
  • collective action
  • environment
  • identity
  • mass-gathering
  • social change
  • event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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