Professor Virginia Braun



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

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. Currenly I am working on body hair (with Gareth Terry, AUT) and 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 chapers, and a forthcoming book on Thematic Analysis. Our new 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 and Naomi Moller) are currently editing a Special Issue of Qualitative Research in Psychology on the exciting data collection method called story completion.

Teaching | Current

PSYCH 733 - Critical Health Psychology (from 2018)

PSYCH 755 - Gender Power & Sexuality

PSYCH 319 - Psychology & Gender

PSYCH 208 - Producing Psychological Knowledge


I am Associate Dean Equity in the Faculty of Science. This important role involves promoting and supporting equity within the Faculty and University. You can read my occasional blog on the topic.

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

Equity Community of Interest

Faculty of Science Equity Committee

Maori and Pacific Governance Group (FoS)

Maori and Pacific Psychology Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • 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. ). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. Related URL.
  • Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2018). Using thematic analysis in counselling and psychotherapy research: A critical reflection. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 18 (2), 107-110. 10.1002/capr.12165
  • Terry, G., Braun, V., Jayamaha, S., & Madden, H. (2018). Negotiating the hairless ideal in Āotearoa/New Zealand: Choice, awareness, complicity, and resistance in younger women's accounts of body hair removal. Feminism & Psychology, 28 (2), 272-291. 10.1177/0959353517732592
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Shanuki Jayamaha
  • Farvid, P., & Braun, V. (2018). "You Worry, 'cause You Want to Give a Reasonable Account of Yourself": Gender, Identity Management, and the Discursive Positioning of "Risk" in Men's and Women's Talk About Heterosexual Casual Sex. Archives of sexual behavior10.1007/s10508-017-1124-0
  • Le Grice, J., & Braun, V. (2018). Indigenous (Māori) sexual health psychologies in New Zealand: Delivering culturally congruent sexuality education. Journal of Health Psychology, 23 (2), 175-187. 10.1177/1359105317739909
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jade Le Grice
  • Jankowski, G., Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2017). Reflecting on qualitative research, feminist methodologies and feminist psychology: In conversation with Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke. Psychology of Women Section Review, 19 (1), 43-55. Related URL.
  • Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Gray, D. (2017). Innovations in qualitative methods. In B. Gough (Ed.) The Palgrave handbook of critical social psychology (pp. 243-266). London, UK: Palgrave. 10.1057/978-1-137-51018-1_13
  • Terry, G., & Braun, V. (2017). Short but often sweet: The surprising potential of qualitative survey methods. In V. Braun, V. Clarke, D. Gray (Eds.) Collecting qualitative data: A practical guide to textual, media and virtual techniques (pp. 15-44). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781107295094.003


Contact details

Office hours

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Primary office location

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

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