Paper short abstract:
Distrust towards vaccination is not restricted to specific cultural scenes and bounded systems of ideas. Its analysis must also reach beyond the frame of health and risk management and be articulated with that of different forms of dissent that are expressed in other areas of social life.
Paper long abstract:
Far from being residual anachronisms, certain contemporary phenomena of distrust or dissent towards vaccination - whether in the form of objection, active resistance, or circumspection - are part of emergent forms of assertive citizenship that are now also arising in the field of health and affect the way people deal with biomedical institutions.
Scrutinizing the type of attitudes they reveal and the decision processes that shape them helps in avoiding the hasty misconception that restrict them to alternative niches defined by specific cultural scenes and internally coherent philosophies or lifestyles. Fending off this error further requires a thorough examination of the basis for vaccine acceptance and consensus. An ethnographic research in different Portuguese contexts (Cunha & Durand 2013), set against the comparative backdrop of various countries, stresses the necessity of such a perspective, guided by a notion of "acceptance" that simultaneously encompasses consent and dissent, for a penetrative look at the biocommunicability (Briggs) and behaviors related to vaccination.
In fact, their analysis needs to reach beyond the frame defined by health and risk management. Patterns of production of dissent that are similar to the ones arising around vaccination can be observed in other domains of social life. Their political implications shed light on specific forms of citizenship that value critical stances as responsible social involvement.
CUNHA Manuela Ivone; DURAND Jean-Yves: 2013, Anti-bodies. The production of dissent", Ethnologia Europaea, 43 (2).
The politics of vaccination: affect, rationality and power