Dr. Charles Allan McCoy
Associate Professor of Sociology
I am interested in the social determinants of health, the development of public health policy, and the practice of disease control.
My recent research focuses on vaccines. I examine how industrialized nations use various forms of coercion to produce vaccination compliance. I have also looked at the social characteristics of Americans who are opposed to vaccines and vaccine mandates.
During the coronavirus pandemic, I published Diseased States, a book that examines the contrasting development of infectious disease control in Britain and the United States. I describe the different theories of disease each country started with in the 19th century and how they placed disease control in different locations of the state apparatus. These initial differences came to shape the overall practice of disease control in each country over the long term and even influences how each country responds to contemporary biological threats such as SARS, swine flu, Ebola, and most recently COVID-19.
Currently, I am studying how socioeconomic status impacts the health actions people take and how the US government attempted to control the “narrative” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
My work has appeared in academic journals and in the popular press, in such venues as the Philadelphia Inquirer, The New Republic, and the Burlington Free Press.