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Keelan, Jennifer E.,1972-
The Canadian Anti-vaccination Leagues, 1872-1892.
Ph. D. -- University of Toronto, 2004
Ottawa :Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothèque et Archives Canada,[2005]
4 microfiches.
Includes bibliographical references.
This thesis is both an intellectual and social history of the strategies, activities, arguments and purported impact of the two Anti-vaccination Leagues that were active in Canada between 1872 and 1892. This work situates anti-vaccination reasoning within a broader framework of the Canadian experiences with smallpox, vaccine technology and vaccination science and medicine. The findings indicate that the standard depiction of anti-vaccinationism as part of a sanitary movement that rejected a 'reductionist' bacteriological system of medicine for a more holistic approach is overstated. The rejection or acceptance of a particular medical system did not strictly accord with the rejection or acceptance of vaccination. Some eclectic and homeopathic physicians in Canada accepted vaccination while regular physicians could and did reject it. In turn, anti-vaccinationists employed contemporary empirical methods and modes of analysis in their analysis of vaccine data. Their analysis of the empirical data is distinguishable from pro-vaccinationists only in its rejection of the principles of vaccination. Anti-vaccinationists felt that vaccine-immunity had not been 'demonstrated' and this had serious consequences for how they read and understood empirical data. They argued that compulsory vaccination was a class-based legislation whose function was to exert control over the working classes. These arguments were successfully taken up by French nationalists in Montreal who used vaccination to promote discord between the French and English. By disseminating reports of serious side-effects from public vaccinators' vaccine, questioning the theoretical and empirical basis for vaccine programs and by adding the cultural argument that compulsory vaccination was a part of paternalistic and monopolistic medical profession, anti-vaccinationists both stimulated and reflected the wide-spread resistance to compulsory vaccination in the period of this study.
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