Vaccinations and Public Concern in History: Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Vaccinations and Public Concern in History

Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception, 1st Edition

By Andrea Kitta


172 pages

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Hardback: 9780415887038
pub: 2011-12-22
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pub: 2012-01-30
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Vaccinations and Public Concern in History explores vernacular beliefs and practices that surround decisions not to vaccinate. Through the use of ethnographic, media, and narrative analyses, this book explores the vernacular explanatory models used in inoculation decision-making. The research on which the book draws was designed to help create public health education programs and promotional materials that respond to patients’ fears, understandings of risk, concerns, and doubts. Exploring the nature of inoculation distrust and miscommunication, Dr. Andrea Kitta identifies areas that require better public health communication and greater cultural sensitivity in the handling of inoculation programs.


‘Andrea Kitta’s book on public concerns about vaccination is timely and profoundly important. Her account of the nature and sources of public concerns over vaccination is remarkably fair and well informed. I recommend this book to parents concerned about vaccination decisions for their children, as well as health professionals who advise about and provide vaccinations. It should also be read by those who teach health professions students and all with an interest in the intersection of culture and health.’David Hufford, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Genres and Communicative Forms 3. Folkloric Content in Vaccine Narratives 4. Medical and Ethical Issues as Perceived by the Medical Community 5. Notions of Risk

About the Author

Dr. Andrea Kitta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at East Carolina University and a Professional Associate for the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has a Ph.D. in Folklore from MUN. She has done extensive research and presented on folklore and medicine, risk perception, urban legends, and health information on the Internet.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Studies in the History of Science Technology and Medicine aims to stimulate research in the field, concentrating on the twentieth century. It seeks to contribute to our understanding of science, technology and medicine as they are embedded in society, exploring the links between the subjects on the one hand, and the cultural, economic, political and institutional contexts of their genesis and development on the other. Within this framework, and while not favouring any particular methodological approach, the series welcomes studies which examine relations between science, technology, medicine and society in new ways, e.g. the social construction of technologies, large technical systems.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 21st Century
HISTORY / Social History