Professor Virginia Braun


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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 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, 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 (from 2019)

PSYCH 755 - Gender Power & Sexuality

PSYCH 319 - Psychology & Gender


I am Associate Dean Equity in the Faculty of Science. This important role involves promoting and supporting equity within the Faculty and University.

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)

Equity Leadership Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Le Grice, J. S., & Braun, V. (2017). Indigenous (Māori) perspectives on abortion in New Zealand. Feminism & Psychology, 27 (2), 144-162. 10.1177/0959353517701491
    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.
  • Terry, G., Hayfield, N., Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2017). Thematic analysis. In C. Willig, W. Stainton-Rogers (Eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology. London: SAGE Publications.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gareth Terry
  • Farvid, P., & Braun, V. (2017). Unpacking the "pleasures" and "pains" of heterosexual casual sex: beyond singular understandings. Journal of Sex Research, 54 (1), 73-90. 10.1080/00224499.2016.1143442
  • Farvid, P., Braun, V., & Rowney, C. (2017). ‘No girl wants to be called a slut!’: Women, heterosexual casual sex and the sexual double standard. Journal of Gender Studies, 26 (5), 544-560. 10.1080/09589236.2016.1150818
  • Terry, G., & Braun, V. (2016). "I think gorilla-like back effusions of hair are rather a turn-off": 'Excessive hair' and male body hair (removal) discourse. Body Image, 17, 14-24. 10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.01.006
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gareth Terry
  • Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2016). Thematic analysis. In E. Lyons, A. Coyle (Eds.) Analysing qualitative data in psychology (pp. 84-103). London, UK: SAGE. Related URL.
  • Clarke, V., Braun, V., & Wooles, K. (2015). Thou Shalt Not Covet Another Man? Exploring Constructions of Same-Sex and Different-Sex Infidelity Using Story Completion. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 25 (2), 153-166. 10.1002/casp.2204


Contact details

Office hours

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Primary office location

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

Social links

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