Using the social structure of markets as a framework for analyzing vaccination debates: The case of emergency polio vaccination

Yaron Connelly, Arnona Ziv, Uri Goren, Orna Tal, Giora Kaplan, Baruch Velan

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

6 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: The framework of the social structure of markets was used to analyze an online debate revolving around an emergency poliovirus vaccination campaign in Israel. Examination of a representative sample of 200 discussions revealed the activity of three parties: authoritative agents promoting vaccinations, alternative agents promoting anti-vaccination, both representing sellers, and the impartial agents, representing the customers—the general public deliberating whether to comply with vaccination or not. Both sellers interacted with consumers using mechanisms of luring and convincing. The authoritative agents conveyed their message by exhibiting professionalism, building trust and offering to share information. The alternative agents spread doubts and evoked negative emotions of distrust and fear. Among themselves, the alternative agents strived to discredit the authoritative agents, while the latter preferred to ignore the former. Content analysis of discussions conducted by the general public reveal reiteration of the messages conveyed by the sellers, implying that the transaction of pro and anti-vaccination ideas indeed took place. We suggest that the framework of the market as a social structure can be applied to the analysis of other vaccination debates, and thereby provide additional insights into vaccination polemics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1930-1935
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


  • fear
  • hesitancy
  • market structure
  • online discussions
  • polio-vaccine
  • sociology of markets
  • trust
  • vaccination campaign
  • vaccination debate
  • web 2.0


Dive into the research topics of 'Using the social structure of markets as a framework for analyzing vaccination debates: The case of emergency polio vaccination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this