Political and economic determinants of anti-vaccination conflict in the Industrial England

The article presents the historical and sociological analysis of the vaccination conflict that arose in the second half of the 19th century in industrial England. It has become the result of confrontation between social groups that resisted the implementation of the law on compulsory vaccination, and the government of England. The reconstruction of historical events related to the spread of vaccination in the country and the details of social context made it possible to present the vaccination conflict as a harvest of political and economic pressure exerted on target social groups — representatives of the lower middle class and workers. Position of these groups in social structure of industrial English society and specific of existing social context formed the background for consolidating efforts in opposing the state social policy. The implementation of political decisions taken in the context of an almost total smallpox incidence was accompanied by discrimination and stigmatization of the most vulnerable population segments, deepening status stratification and, at the same time, the status self-determination of marginalized people who were ready to struggle with higher social groups not only for their own medical choice freedom, but also for its place in the social structure of society.

The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 20-011-00314 «Social order in conditions of epidemic: socio-philosophical analysis».

For citation: Boyarkina S.I. Political and economic determinants of anti-vaccination conflict in the Industrial England. St. Petersburg Sociology Today. 2021. N. 16. P. 5-21. DOI:10.25990/socinstras.pss-16.mjjj-2j32

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