A Social History of Vaccination

Against the Grain

It’s stating the obvious to observe that vaccination in the United States is a highly charged subject.  But the heat of the controversies, as historian Elena Conis argues, obscures how vaccination — which has saved many lives when used against deadly illnesses — became so widespread, including for milder diseases. Conis discusses the cultural, political, …

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Against the Grain

Credit Agencies and the Commodification of Personal Information

If you think the collection and selling of personal data began in the last twenty years, think again. Consumer credit agencies like Equifax have been gathering information about people’s intimate details since they were created in the late 19th century.  Scholar Josh Lauer discusses the history of credit agencies, their key role in capitalist consumer … Continued


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