The movement against Covid measures in the Netherlands has been characterized by a striking diversity: many of its participants appear at first glance to represent very different beliefs and goals. Given the prominent place collective identity enjoys in literature on social movements, this diversity is puzzling. Based on in-depth, qualitative interviews with fourteen opponents of Covid measures, this research examines what these opponents believe, why, and how opponents relate to one other. It concludes that although central themes can be identified in opponents’ beliefs, no two opponents hold the same set of beliefs. This is due to the alternative media they consume and the individualist epistemology they employ to judge what information to trust and accept. In contrast to conventional wisdom on social movements, these opponents seek out community with like-minded individuals with the primary purpose of information gathering and validation. For most, shared identity plays no role. Indeed, opposition to Covid measures appears to be a markedly individualized endeavor.

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Willem de Koster, Bonnie French
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Boin, C. (2021, August). I want information, not community: Understanding the diversity in beliefs held by Dutch opponents of Covid measures. Sociology. Retrieved from