Prof. Dr. Renate Meyer, WU Wien:‘One frame to bind them all’. The rhetoric of the anti-vaccination for large-scale institutional disruption. Project with: Elena Bruni and Dennis Jancsary


Prof. Dr. R. Meyer

EO 256

In this manuscript, we aim at generating insights into the multimodal rhetoric that underlies attempts to initiate and mobilize for large-scale institutional disruption by challenging the shared stocks of knowledge that sustain the dominant institutions of modern societies. We focus on discourses that are motivated by ‘anti-establishment’ sentiments and prioritize institutional disruption over the creation of alternative visions. Empirically, we engage with the anti-vaccination discourse on social media. Adopting a multimodal analysis of anti-vaccination groups active on Facebook over ten years, we show how a set of frames – free choice, anti-capitalism, back to nature, and oppression and conspiracy – combines a variety of different identities, actor roles, and arguments in ways that enact multiple ‘truths’ simultaneously but create convergence over time. From these empirical findings, we reconstruct a set of mechanisms that utilize multimodal orchestrations to solidify discourses of radical de-institutionalization.