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Saúde e Sociedade

Print version ISSN 0104-1290On-line version ISSN 1984-0470


FONSECA, Claudia. Family conceptions and practices of intervention: an anthropological contribution. Saude soc. [online]. 2005, vol.14, n.2, pp.50-59. ISSN 0104-1290.

To speak of the famliy as focus of intervention not only demands a probing discussion about what constitutes a family and how this social group may or may not be an important ressource in intervention programs, it also demands a close look at a basic element of the intervention process: the communication between intervening professionals and the target population. Thus, in this article, we first consider certain analytical leads that might help professionals perceive family dynamics in Brazilian working-class groups. We discover that, from a spatial perspective, family networks reach beyond the consanguineal or household units to much wider spheres; from a temporal perspective, individuals are embedded in the play of successive generations, allowing for a projection of relations into the future or salvaging of elements from the past. We then consider the specific contribution of an approach involving practice theory, and the methodological implications of centering the analysis on "lifestyles", involving class-bound specificities. Finally, we outline properties of the "reflexive gaze" - a fundamental element in the dialogical process that permits one to hear what others are saying. We propose, with this approach, to contribute toward the "decolonization" of intervention projects, encountering manners to reinforce rather than repress traditional social and community ressources.

Keywords : Family; Kinship; Family Cycles; Intervetion; Research Methodology; Lifestyles.

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