1932

Abstract

Research on vaccines in the law and social sciences skews heavily toward an instrumentalist approach to knowledge in service of vaccine promotion. Overcoming hesitancy and promoting vaccine acceptance have been major goals, but successful levers for behavioral change remain elusive. Research with constructivist approaches to vaccines from feminist sociology and anthropology has uncovered ethnographic richness to describe how vaccine debates illuminate inequalities in parenting and re-entrench patterns of racism and colonialism. There is considerable potential in science and technology studies approaches that take seriously the materiality and movement of vaccines in networks of production, finance, and global politics, though there are considerable methodological challenges for these research designs. This review charts the lopsided bibliography of law and social science research on vaccines, asking why scholars rarely move away from instrumentalist conceptions of law in the service of public health and, when they do, explaining what theoretical tools enable it.

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2023-10-05
2024-04-21
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