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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


QUEIROZ, Marcos de Souza  and  CANESQUI, Ana Maria. Contributions from anthropology to medicine: a bibliographic review in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1986, vol.20, n.2, pp.141-151. ISSN 0034-8910.

An analysis was made of the most representative literature both on health and illness representations and on practices of cure in Brazil from an anthropological point of view. Firsttly, there was in this litterature the concern of collecting the folk traditions from the rural world, expressing a great variety of viewpoints. In general, "popular medicine" was seen as a set of rude and imitative ideas and practices stemming from both the erudite medicine of the past and Brazilian ethnic traditions. Secondly, social sciences have had a great influence on this kind of study. After the 30's, particularly from the 40's to the 70's, a number of important studies, influenced by academic postures such as functionalism, acculturation theory and development theories took place in this field of study. During the 70's, this field reached maturity with a great amount of research carried out under diverse theoretical influences. However, the structuralist and functional-structuralist theories (which range from abstract formalism to substantivism) had a more consistent weight in that decade. Three important recent studies were also analysed and the main new theoretical trends in this field, particularly as regards Marxist theories, were also discussed.

Keywords : Anthropology, medical; Medicine, traditional; Brazil.

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