Professor Virginia Braun


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I studied psychology as an undergraduate at The University of Auckland, completing my BA in 1995, and went on to complete an MA(Hons), with research on cervical cancer prevention policy in New Zealand. I then went to the UK on a Commonwealth Scholarship, to conduct research for my PhD at Loughborough University. I was appointed as a lecturer in the School of Psychology following the completion of my PhD, in 2001. Since appointment, I have spent research time based in universities in the US (Columbia University & CUNY; NYC) and the UK (The University of the West of England; Bristol; City, University of London).

Research | Current

In my research, I am interested in examining the relationship between the social, the scientific and the individual, in relation to bodies, sexuality and health. My research examines the influence of culture and society on individual choices, thoughts, feelings and behaviours, as well as on broader issues like public health policy and practice. My research is specifically influenced by feminist, social constructionist, and discursive theory and practice, and tends to employ qualitative methodologies. Currently I am working on new so-called healthy-eating food movements.

As another strand of scholarship, I am involved in various ongoing collaborative projects (mainly with Victoria Clarke, The University of the West of England, Bristol, UK) related to qualitative research and the development of the method of thematic analysis in particular. We have written an award-winning textbook Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for  Beginners (SAGE, 2013), and have numerous papers and chapters, and a new book on Thematic Analysis (SAGE; Oct 2021). Another book focuses on data collection: Collecting Qualitative Data: A Practical Guide to Textual, Media and Virtual Methods (co-edited by Victoria Clarke & Debra Gray; Cambridge University Press, 2017), and we (me, Victoria Clarke, Naomi Moller and Hannah Frith) recently edited a Special Issue of Qualitative Research in Psychology on the exciting data collection method called story completion.

Teaching | Current

PSYCH 733 - Critical Health Psychology

PSYCH 743 - Critical Qualitative Research in Aotearoa (from 2022)

Areas of expertise

  • Sex & sexuality
  • Sexual health
  • Gendered bodies
  • Genital cosmetic surgery
  • Body hair
  • Food
  • Feminist psychology
  • Critical psychology
  • Qualitative research
  • Thematic analysis

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Currently on Research and Study Leave through July 2020

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Braun, V., Clarke, V., Boulton, E., Davey, L., & McEvoy, C. (2020). The online survey as aqualitativeresearch tool. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY10.1080/13645579.2020.1805550
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2020). One size fits all? What counts as quality practice in (reflexive) thematic analysis?. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY10.1080/14780887.2020.1769238
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019). To saturate or not to saturate? Questioning data saturation as a useful concept for thematic analysis and sample-size rationales. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN SPORT EXERCISE AND HEALTH10.1080/2159676X.2019.1704846
  • Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Hayfield, N. (2019). 'A starting point for your journey, not a map': Nikki Hayfield in conversation with Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke about thematic analysis. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY10.1080/14780887.2019.1670765
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019). Novel insights into patients' life-worlds: the value of qualitative research. The lancet. Psychiatry, 6 (9), 720-721. 10.1016/s2215-0366(19)30296-2
  • Braun, V. (2019). Selling a perfect vulva? Selling a ‘normal’ vulva!. In S. Creighton, L.-M. Liao (Eds.) Female genital cosmetic surgery: Solution to what problem? (pp. 23-32). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781108394673.003
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019). Reflecting on reflexive thematic analysis. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN SPORT EXERCISE AND HEALTH, 11 (4), 589-597. 10.1080/2159676X.2019.1628806
  • Braun, V., Clarke, V., Hayfield, N., & Terry, G. (2019). Thematic Analysis. In P. Liamputtong (Ed.) Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences (pp. 843-860). Springer.


Contact details

Office hours

Please email for an appointment

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 2, Room 231
New Zealand

Social links

Web links