Efremov V.A. Speech Behaviour of Anti-Vaxxers: Rhetorical and Legal Aspects

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2022.3.8

Valeriy A. Efremov

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Head of the Department of the Russian Language, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

Reki Moyki Emb., 48, 191186 Saint Petersburg, Russia

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0247-706X


Abstract. The situation of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a new and exacerbated number of old social problems, including social inequality, the growth of social aggression, and the upscaling of agonal communication in Runet. One of the new conflict-generating points is the attitude towards vaccination, which divided people into pro-vaxxers and anti-vaxxers. In order to develop the strategies for community response to socially dangerous activities of anti-vaxxers, it is necessary to rely on scientific data obtained as a result of analysis of vaccination opponents' argumentation system and discourse description. The paper reveals the main arguments of anti-vaxxers and presents the linguistic-and-legal problems that arise in Internet communication while discussing the topic of vaccinations against COVID-19. For the explication of aggressive rhetoric, a content analysis of the largest group of anti-vaxxers "The COVID-Resistance Movement" on the VKontakte social network was carried out. In addition to highlighting and describing the most common arguments of anti-vaccinationists, examples of complex (moral and metaphysical) aggressive arguments were given (after the concept of H. Kusse). Aggressive verbal behaviour in some cases leads to a direct violation of the law – both new articles of the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation related to the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, on misinformation), and traditional articles related to agonal communication (for example, extremism and racism).

Key words: anti-vaccination, network communication, verbal aggression, argumentation, verbal delict.

Citation. Efremov V.A. Speech Behaviour of Anti-Vaxxers: Rhetorical and Legal Aspects. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2022, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 90-100. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2022.3.8

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