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Exploring discourse and ideology through corpora

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Edited By Miguel Fuster Márquez, José Santaemilia, Carmen Gregori-Signes and Paula Rodríguez-Abruñeiras

This book explores discourse mainly through corpus linguistics methods. Indeed, Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies has become a widely used approach for the critical (or non-critical) analysis of discourses in recent times. The book focuses on the analysis of different kinds of discourse, but most particularly on those which attempt to unveil social attitudes and values. Although a corpus methodology is deemed crucial in all research found here, it should not be inferred that a single, uniform technique is applied, but a wide variety of them, often shaped by the software which has been used. Also, more than one (qualitative or quantitative) methodology or drawing from various relevant sources is often called for in the critical analysis of discourses.

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The narrative of the anti-vax campaign on Twitter: Stefania M. Maci

Stefania M. Maci

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Edward Jenner’s work on vaccination contributed to the dissemination of vaccination information within the medical community from the late 18th century both in the UK and in the US. Yet in the 19th century vaccination resistance began in both countries: in the UK, the introduction of the Vaccination Act (1849–1898) was considered as a violation of civil liberty; in the US, vaccination laws were vigorously opposed by anti-vaccination movements (Wolfe/Sharp 2002).

A smallpox outbreak in the US made antivaccine activists be quiet until the 1980s when a TV program, the DTP Vaccine roulette put an emphasis on the alleged health risks caused by a triple vaccine for diphtheria (a bacterial infection), pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus. Furthermore, in 1999, The Lancet published a study carried out by Wakefield et al. which demonstrated a correlation between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) and autism. This made anti-vaccination movements strongly revive. Yet this study was heavily distorted, as demonstrated by Taylor et al. (1999) and Miller et al. (1999). Indeed, Wakefield et al. (1999) selected the data they needed to suggest a vaccine-autism correlation; in addition, their study was funded by litigants ←211 | 212→opposing vaccine manufacturers (Hussain et al. 2018), as discovered by Brian Deer, a Sunday Times journalist, in his reports written between 2004 and 2010. As a consequence, The Lancet (Editors 2010) retracted Wakefield et al.’s (1999) article in 2010. The absence of any correlation between MMR and autism has been further confirmed by recent...

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