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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/36904

Title: The vaccination debate in the "post-truth" era: social media as sites of multi-layered reflexivity
Authors: Numerato, Dino
Vochocova, Lenka
Stetka, Vaclav
Mackova, Alena
Keywords: Conspiracy theory
Social media
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: NUMERATO, D. ... et al, 2019. The vaccination debate in the "post-truth" era: social media as sites of multi-layered reflexivity. Sociology of Health and Illness, [in press].
Abstract: This paper analyses the contemporary public debate about vaccination, and medical knowledge more broadly, in the context of social media. The study is focused on the massive online debate prompted by the Facebook status of the digital celebrity Mark Zuckerberg, who posted a picture of his two-month-old daughter, accompanied by a comment: “Doctor's visit -- time for vaccines!” Carrying out a qualitative analysis on a sample of 650 comments and replies, selected through systematic random sampling from an initial pool of over 10,000 user contributions, and utilising open and axial coding, we empirically inform the theoretical discussion around the concept of the reflexive patient and introduce the notion of multi-layered reflexivity. We argue that the reflexive debate surrounding this primarily medical problem is influenced by both biomedical and social scientific knowledge. Lay actors therefore discuss not only vaccination, but also its political and economic aspects as well as the post-truth information context of the debate. We stress that the reflexivity of social actors related to the post-truth era re-enters and influences the debate more than ever. Furthermore, we suggest that the interconnection of different layers of reflexivity can either reinforce certainty or deepen the ambiguity and uncertainty of reflexive agents.
Description: This paper is closed access until 12 months after the date of publication.
Sponsor: This research was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR), Standard Grant Nr 17-01116S – “Civic engagement and the politics of health care”.
Version: Accepted for publication
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/36904
Publisher Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14679566
ISSN: 0141-9889
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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