The use of term 'denialism' has proliferated and its academic explanatory power is used to examine and study the cause of false beliefs and misperceptions. The concept itself is devoid of concrete meaning it has been stretched in various academic and other directions to accommodate various political and intellectual agendas.
Multiplicity of opinions on the idea renders its discriminatory power next to nothing. Yet in spite of it the term seems to be very popular and is widely used in mass media and academia. This particular paper seeks to examine and explain why and how do people continue to believe that vaccinations cause autism, in spite of substantial evidence that their belief is not true? The paper studies various existing definitions and an approach to the study of denialism and on the sidelines of the main question posed argues that denialism can be best explained as a discourse or an idiom rather than a concrete academic term.
[...] The conventional understanding of discourse has it that it is a form of written of spoken communication, also it can be stated that it is a from of debate (Stevenson, 2010). However, in academic field the idea of discourse is a bit different. It is about how people get to make sense of the world around them and how do people ascribe meaning to things. One of the underlying assumptions of discourse analysis is that those meanings and definitions we have regarding the world around does not exist independently of our minds. [...]
[...] Apparently people counting on the expertise of Dr. Wakefield and his associates overreacted and levels of vaccination in Great Britain had drastically fallen. For many the mere fact that the published article was inconsistent with actual state of affairs and that it was based on subjective assumptions and disguised as objective truth would have been enough to stop the panic. Yet the situation developed in opposite direction, it was expected that by the 2010 the Europe would have been free from measles but after the incident the goal was unviable (Specter, 2009). [...]
[...] (2009). Vaccines and the Great Denial Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress Harms the Planet, and Threatens our Lives. NY: Penguin Stevenson, A. (2010). Oxford Dictionary of English (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. Washington, H. a. J. C. (2011). [...]
[...] The research suggests that the misunderstanding and misperception are results of motivated reasoning. Although people posses scientifically validated data their psychological model of thinking does not change. Namely, their behavior and thinking does not change in accordance with new information received. People who display motivated reasoning tend to fill in the gap, namely the absence of rational explanation and study on what causes the autism, with their wishful thinking. Information that is not in conformity with their believes simply gets filtered out. [...]
[...] Denial and the Nature of Science Climate Change Argument London: Earthscan Ltd. Wodak, R. (2009). The Discursive Construction of National Identity (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. [...]
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