Vaccinations, citizens, and me­dia

Vaccinations, citizens and me­dia project (2019–2022) analyzes public attitudes and current debates on vaccinations in the mainstream news media, counter-media, and various social media platforms. The main focus is on the role of experts and framings, disruptions and patterns of polarization. We make surveys on public attitudes towards vaccinations.

Recently, critique against the public health establishment has become a common feature in public debates on health risks, health promotion and disease prevention. This is manifested clearly in the case of vaccinations.  The national vaccination programs have also been criticized, to the point where it is said that “herd immunity” has been jeopardized.

The media have become an important arena where struggles over the symbolic legitimacy of expert authority take place in late modern societies. Scientific experts have to increasingly compete over the public recognition of expertise as well as public authority and credibility. Further, new types of actors such as ‘field experts’, ‘lifestyle experts’, and experience-based experts claim credibility in public debates.