Right-wing populism in Poland and anti-vaccine myths on YouTube: Political and cultural threats to public health

Piotr Żuk , Paweł Żuk


The article describes the growing anti-vaccine movements in the context of right-wing populism, which is also gaining popularity around the world. According to the authors, these two phenomena have a lot in common, and the activists of the anti-vaccine movements often intermingle with populist right-wing movements. The connection between anti-vaccine activists and populists is illustrated in the analysis of discourse and anti-vaccine arguments presented in materials on the Polish-language YouTube channel, as well as in comments on YouTube forums. The slogans of the defence of 'ordinary people' against 'corrupt elites' in the medical dimension indicate a dislike for 'medical conspiracy' and doctors corrupted by pharmaceutical concerns. Just like right-wing populists, opponents of vaccines in Poland refer to nationalist slogans and have an aversion to the European Union. In addition to the rejection of the WHO standards on sex education and the sceptic attitude to environmental changes, the rejection of vaccines is another manifestation of the conspiracy ideologies of right-wing populists in Poland that may affect health and health policy. In the area of public health, this means rejecting medical knowledge and replacing it with myths and prejudices proclaimed by anti-vaccine movements, among others.
Author Piotr Żuk - University of Wrocław (UWr)
Piotr Żuk,,
, Paweł Żuk (E&F / DSaSP)
Paweł Żuk,,
- Department of Sociology and Social Policy
Journal seriesGlobal Public Health, ISSN 1744-1692, e-ISSN 1744-1706, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.7
Keywords in Englishanti-vaccine movements, medical populism, health and ideology, YouTube, populism
ASJC Classification2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 0.865; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.017 (2) - 2017=2.005 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.