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Accepted Paper:

Swine flu representation in mass media conspiracy imaginary  
Iacob Ionela Florina (Babes-Bolyai University)

Paper long abstract:

The new swine flu alert and the vaccination campaigns implemented in the last year released a veritable psychosis in the masses and particularly in fundamentalist oriented communities.

Our paper follows the examination of the conspirational imaginary as it appears in Romanian virtual space and mass media, that, drawing from so called scientific, humanist or religious arguments, affirms the existence of a global manipulation force witch exploits economically or in other way the population by deliberate releasing of influenza viruses and vaccination campaigns with negative side effects.

The central part of our study is focused on analyzing the way in which conspirational rhetoric present in virtual and media spaces creates alternative representations of flu pandemic dynamic and of medical treatments (vaccines) implied, through orchestration of lay interpretation of medical problems with other cultural and ideological aspects. Thus, a medical crisis is reconstructed through the conspirational imaginary of mass control.

Panel W055
Disease as crisis, health as imagination
  Session 1