New research project (FWO): Media, Meat, and Masculinities

(02-03-2022) Meat, Media, and Masculinities. How media and interpersonal communication processes shape the connections between masculine identities and meat consumption.

Media, Meat, Masculinities project (FWO)Although an over-consumption of meat relates to health- and sustainability problems, many people, men in particular, eat more meat than recommended. An underlying cause of men’s overconsumption of meat may be the widespread belief that “real men eat meat”. This belief fits hegemonic, patriarchal views on masculinity, but does not fit newer, more inclusive forms of masculinity. Newer forms of masculinity are gaining momentum, and at the same time, meatless diets also seem to be on the rise. The general scope of this project is to study potential connections between (not) eating meat and beliefs about masculinity. In concrete terms, we will study:

(1) the representation of meat and masculinities in Flemish media;

(2) the roles of these images in individual identity and interpersonal interaction among men.

A quantitative and qualitative content analysis will be used to study media content about meat and masculinities (1).

In-depth interviews will be used to study the impact of media content on the construction of the male identity and on men’s choice to eat or not to eat meat (2).

This project aims to gain a better understanding of the connections between eating meat and beliefs about masculinity. Moreover, the outcomes may offer timely and necessary solutions to assist avid male eaters to reduce their meat intake. This research is funded by FWO as a Senior Research Project Fundamental Research (GO11221N), 2021-2025 supervised by prof. dr. Charlotte De Backer (University of Antwerp), prof. dr. Alexander Dhoest (University of Antwerp), and prof. dr. Sofie Van Bauwel (Ghent University) and Elina Vrijsen is the appointed researcher.