Employing textual data from seven of the most active anti-vaccine online communities in Italy, we investigate the effect of a specific institutional event, the regulative intervention of the Italian Health Ministry, on the anti-vac- cine discursive strategies in terms of shifts in micro-level discursive productions. The decision of the Italian Health Ministry followed after a phase that can almost be described as a hype. Where the debate was centered around the decrease in vaccination coverage and the fast spread of anti-vaccines ideas; this was verbal- ized both in social media in general as well as in the public opinion. The choice to introduce a new law to make several vaccines compulsory for all infants could be framed as an institutional action to reinforce the institutionalization of vaccines acceptance. On the other hand, this initiative has led to a shift in terms of discursive strategies and institutional vocabularies in anti-vaccines online communities. Given the overall institutional setting is influenced by texts production, which shapes the discourse, we want to analyze this dynamic in online anti-vaccines communities in both pre- and post-event phases in order to learn how the institutional action has changed the micro-processes of texts production and the possible conse- quences of this shift.

Is the solution worse than the problem? The evolution of discourse in anti-vaccines online communities after the announcement of crackdown on vaccines regulation

Ludovico Bullini Orlandi
;
Alessandro Zardini
2018-01-01

Abstract

Employing textual data from seven of the most active anti-vaccine online communities in Italy, we investigate the effect of a specific institutional event, the regulative intervention of the Italian Health Ministry, on the anti-vac- cine discursive strategies in terms of shifts in micro-level discursive productions. The decision of the Italian Health Ministry followed after a phase that can almost be described as a hype. Where the debate was centered around the decrease in vaccination coverage and the fast spread of anti-vaccines ideas; this was verbal- ized both in social media in general as well as in the public opinion. The choice to introduce a new law to make several vaccines compulsory for all infants could be framed as an institutional action to reinforce the institutionalization of vaccines acceptance. On the other hand, this initiative has led to a shift in terms of discursive strategies and institutional vocabularies in anti-vaccines online communities. Given the overall institutional setting is influenced by texts production, which shapes the discourse, we want to analyze this dynamic in online anti-vaccines communities in both pre- and post-event phases in order to learn how the institutional action has changed the micro-processes of texts production and the possible conse- quences of this shift.
978-8-868-56129-1
discourse analysis, institutional vocabularies, anti-vaccines, online communities
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/977178
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