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NATS 1760 (20)


5 Pages

Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1760
Darrin Durant

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NATS 1760 DARRIN DURANT/JAMES ELWICK Monday, January 14, 2013 MMR Mobilisation: Citizens & Science in a British Vaccine Controversy Melissa Leach  MMR has triggered a particular disease in children linked to autism and bowel problems  Public engagement with regards to decision- processes of ‘ordinary’ parents rather than on parental groups voicing claims of vaccine damage  Public resistance= ‘anti- vaccinationism’  Several social movement theories: 1) Theories of political process with the emergence of collective mobilisation and their success/failure 2) Theories of framing emphasise how mobilisation takes shape around and actively involved the construction of meanings and cognitive and moral construction of a ‘problem’ 3) Identity-related aspects of social movements with an interest in ‘old’ social movements that are class-based to give interest in ‘new social movements (symbolic, informational and cultural struggles) 4) Acknowledgement of contemporary mobilisation that frequently involved diffusing multi-layered forms of networking and alliance and ‘discourse coalitions’  ‘Scientisation of polities’ – how ‘science’ is drawn on to advance positions in political and social controversies (Epstein)  Epstein proposes four possible ways in which social movements might engage with science: a) Disputing scientific claims b) Seeking to acquire a cachet of scientific authority for a political claim by finding a scientific expert to validate their political stance c) Rejecting the scientific way of knowing and advancing their claims to expertise from some wholly different epistemological standpoint d) Attempting to ‘stake out some ground on the scientists’ own terrain’ by questioning ‘not just the use of science, not just the control over science, but sometimes even the very contents of science and the processes by which is it produced’  Vaccination of an individual child benefits the community’s health by reducing disease levels in the population and thus providing social or ‘herd’ immunity  Vaccination remains voluntary o Citizens have individual right to pursue their own health  Parental experience, scientific alliances - From developmentally-normal infancy to regressed children experiencing symptoms along the autistic spectrum and severe and painful bowel problems  excessive thirst, loss of language, allergies, respiratory problems and food intolerances; symptoms in relation to MMR vaccination  A multi-layered movement - Social mobilisation developing concern about a possible link between MMR and autistic enterocolitis a) Localized parental support groups b) National organizations and networks both focused on the MMR issue, and building on and drawing in strength and inclinations from pre- existing movements c) A wider field of supportive networking and discussion amongst sympathetic publics  Local support groups - Brighton group; through conversation, affirmation of common experiences and identity combined with emotional support  Solidarity amongst an ‘us’ vs. an unsympathetic ‘them’  Forged common identities and activist strategies  National networks and organizations - What Brown identifies as a politics of injury, where shared experiences of injury and victimhood prove a powerful mobilizing force; where victims are often children - JABS (Justice, Awareness & Basic Support) founded by Jackie Fletcher- to provide a helpful support network for parents of vaccine damaged children and to search for ways to help them by promoting awareness and understanding about immunizations  Anti- the giving of MMR to vulnerable children and anti- the secrecy and lack of dialogue of debate and deter investigations of causes of vulnerability - ARCH (Autism Research Campaign for Health) a group of parents and grandparents of children believed to have developed autistic-like symptoms from MMR  Frames its concerns with ‘acquired autism’ campaigning for more clinical research into its causes, treatment and relationship with specific bowel problems - Both JABS & ARCH are campaigns for the access to single vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella as an alternative to MMR  Networks of supportive parents - Parents as social movement ‘subjects’; those whom a movement seeks to influence - Three sorts of movement participants 1) ‘Core’ mobilisers engaging in ongoing discussion over vaccine science and policy 2) Parents sharing stories of what they suspect might be vaccine damage to their children 3) Other one-off contributions asking for information  Producing science and knowledge - ‘Experiential expertise’  as parents shared,
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