COVID “Antivaxx” Discourses on the French Web: Their Specificity Regarding “Classical” Vaccine Hesitancy/Antivaxx Mobilizations

Julien Giry (University of Tours)

In this presentation, I aim to carry out an in-depth analysis of the French online antivaxx movement and discourses in the time of COVID-19. Who are the French COVID-19 antivaxxers: moral entrepreneurs, cranks, prominent conspiracy theorists, citizen sleuths, (web) celebrities, victims of vaccines etc.? How do they differ from traditional antivaxxers? How and in which digital spheres they manage to spread their positions? Which arguments and rhetorical tools about both real and purported vaccine incidents are used to convince the public? How conspiratorial thinking managed to marginalize traditional political/philosophical antivaccinism? Do, finally, COVID-19 antivaxxers have affinities with far right activists, or new age movements for instance?

Part of 14-06 Crisis Folklore: Vernacular Responses to COVID-19 and Public Health, Monday, October 18, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm