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Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva

versão impressa ISSN 0103-7331


SILVA, Luisa Ferreira da  e  ALVES, Fatima. Understanding lay rationalities about health and illness. Physis [online]. 2011, vol.21, n.4, pp.1207-1229. ISSN 0103-7331.

Science is the form of knowledge that has been established as a way to know the only and universally valid truth, based on the epistemological questions and criteria of methodological rigor. The lay knowledge that fills life and guides daily actions, seeks meaning through the symbolic cultural, as opposed to scientific knowledge. The issue of knowledge possibilities about the social reality placed the debate on ways of knowledge production and the consequent contingency of those productions, which substantiates the claim that all forms of knowledge are valid in their context of production. In terms of health and illness, the sociological production has unveiled the contents of lay knowledge and its indisputable presence in individual experience, since the perception of bodily phenomena until the relationship with the medical establishment. This text takes a sociological production on the knowledge issue. Then it reviews the key sociological literature on lay knowledge about health and illness. It concludes with a proposal for understanding lay knowledge processes as rationalities that, in the form of configurations of independent elements, keep health practices in everyday life.

Palavras-chave : sociology; health; disease; healthy; lay knowledge; rationale.

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