Anthropology Magazine

How Belonging Shapes the Vaccination Crisis

How Belonging Shapes the Vaccination Crisis

Why do some people vaccinate their kids? Why do others reject vaccinations? An anthropologist offers important insights into the social forces that underpin these vital decisions that affect public health.

Anthropologist Elisa Sobo never wanted to study the issue of vaccination. The topic was too fraught, she says, and she didn’t want to touch it. But then she initiated a children’s health study at a school in California. Today her work on vaccine hesitancy offers insights into how those on opposing sides might better understand each other and work through this highly controversial issue.



For more, check out Elisa Sobo’s SAPIENS piece about her work on vaccination: “Beyond the Vaccination Rift.”

For the other vaccination-related SAPIENS article Chip mentions in this episode, see: “Why Eradicating Polio Is More Complicated Than It Seems.”

SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human is part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library.

Read a transcript of this episode here.