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Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1809-4481


OLIVEIRA, Nemuel Silva  and  MAIO, Marcos Chor. Social Sciences and health in the research cycle of São Francisco Valley (1950-1960). Physis [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.2, pp.733-753. ISSN 1809-4481.

Between 1940 and 1960, there was extensive academic research in the field of sociology and anthropology of so-called community studies in Brazil. In the era of large projects in the social sciences in the 1950s, involving research on race relations, education and health, we highlight the research conducted in the São Francisco Valley, under the coordination of the sociologist Donald Pierson. Attention is given in this paper to the issue of health in these studies as a means to make intelligible the relevant issues at the time, namely: cultural resistance to change, relations between tradition and modernity, tensions and complementarities between scientific knowledge and folk healing practices, among others. The examination of the research project of San Francisco identified the issue of health, linked to socioeconomic and cultural aspects, emerges as a key to the knowledge of living conditions and social reality of the communities investigated. Social scientists have sought to describe them in detail and comprehensively, taking the process of cultural change as the main axis of research. This paper presents the research that formed the said project and shows how social scientists have addressed the issue of health in their work. Linked by the theme of health, social sciences and the development context of the 1950s are gathered in the San Francisco Project, whose research allows us to understand the dynamics of social change in that period.

Keywords : Social Sciences; Health History; Community Studies; São Francisco Valley.

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