Immunity, modernity, and the biopolitics of vaccination resistance

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11 Scopus citations


Conflicts over the value, meaning, and efficacy of vaccination as a preventive practice suggest that vaccination resistance stages disagreement within modern biological citizenship. This paper explores how immunity circulates in both vaccination controversy and biopolitical philosophies. Two positions—one characterized by somatic individualism, flexible bodies, reflexive approaches to knowledge, and the idea of the immune system as “the essential relation the body has with its vulnerability,” and another characterized by the immunitary paradigm, biosecurity, trust in expert systems, and vaccination-emerge. Understanding that oppositional relation can re-frame public understanding of vaccine skepticism and public health responses to it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-300
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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