Tracking the Therapeutic (2015-2019)

Anti-Vaccine Attitudes

Anti-vaccine attitudes and the politics of health and wellbeing

Johanna Nurmi


In this study, I look at vaccination refusal in Finland as a political lifestyle choice. My aim is to analyze anti-vaccine attitudes as part of a broad spectrum of “natural lifestyle” choices that are connected to everyday politics of wellbeing and health. I analyze the lifestyle and health attitudes of vaccination-refusing families and individuals, as well as their perception of health and illness, and their relationship with biomedical institutions and practitioners. Using ethnographic interviews and observation with families and individuals who choose not to vaccinate, this study will bring new insights into the very polarized vaccination debate. Taking the participants perceptions seriously will result in an understanding of why people choose to opt out of the national vaccination plan and how the public health and social services could be developed to better serve this critical population.