A Constructed Reality? A Fairclough-Inspired Critical Discourse Analysis of the Danish HPV Controversy

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The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that routine immunization coverage has declined in Europe. In this article, we present the findings of a Norman Fairclough–inspired critical discourse analysis undertaken to explore how the Danish media came to suggest a possible linkage between the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and serious side effects. The findings of the analysis highlight the social consequences of the controversy over the HPV vaccine, identified within the framework of three perspectives: (1) overall criticism of vaccine efficacy and safety, rooted in an ideological opposition; (2) a growing societal tendency to question the authority of the official health bodies; and (3) the specific controversy over the HPV vaccine. We suggest that the controversy over the HPV vaccine is rooted in an ideological conflict, and the declining acceptance implies that the perception that the vaccine causes serious side effects has gained currency among the general public.

TidsskriftQualitative Health Research
Sider (fra-til)1045-1057
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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