Skip to main content
Popular Press
How Sociologists Can Battle Covid Denialism
The Chronicle of Higher Education (2021)
  • Brooke Harrington
This article uses reference group theory (Merton), along with Goffman's theory on the group dynamics of fraud, to explain a variety of puzzling behaviors by Americans during the pandemic: mask and vaccine refusal, vaccination in disguise, and efforts to falsify vital records by omitting COVID-19 as a cause of death.
  • COVID-19,
  • anti-vaxx,
  • mask refusal,
  • vaccine refusal,
  • pandemic,
  • group dynamics,
  • fraud,
  • con artists,
  • reference groups,
  • Goffman,
  • Merton
Publication Date
September 1, 2021
Citation Information
Brooke Harrington. "How Sociologists Can Battle Covid Denialism" The Chronicle of Higher Education (2021)
Available at: