The significance of ethnicity in vaccination uptake: social psychological aspects

Rusi Jaspal, Glynis M. Breakwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on the significance of ethnicity in vaccination uptake through the lens of social psychological theory. First, we outline the relevance of social representations theory and identity process theory for understanding and predicting vaccination likelihood. Second, we discuss the historical roots of contemporary social representations of vaccination. Third, we review literature on the sociodemographic (e.g., ethnicity, socioeconomic status) and social psychological (e.g., uncertainty, trust and perceived ingroup power) correlates of vaccine hesitancy. Drawing upon previous research, we present a social psychological model for explaining and predicting ethnic differences in vaccine hesitancy, focusing on the significance of identity resilience, discrimination, ingroup power, mistrust of scientists and political authorities, social support, and past and current social representations of vaccination. We argue that the social sciences and, in particular, social psychology have an important role to play in understanding vaccine acceptability and uptake in the general population and, thereby, in the future in facilitating management of and preparedness for pandemics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOVID-19: Surviving a Pandemic
EditorsJ. Michael Ryan
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781003302698
ISBN (Print)9781032299167, 9781032299174
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2022


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