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Theorizing (Vaccine) Refusal: Through the Looking Glass’

By: Elisa J. Sobo

Source: Cultural Anthropology

What goes on when people say no? How can we theorize refusal? In this essay I hope to show the value of casting refusal not only as an instance of resistance, but also as distinct from the latter in important ways (picture a Venn diagram). In doing so, I seek to open up space for a dynamic and salutary reading of refusal and, by extension, of resistance itself. I therefore highlight refusal’s productivity—not in terms of achieved regime changes or political gains, but of what refusal does for immediate social relations.

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