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Saúde e Sociedade

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1290versão On-line ISSN 1984-0470


MERHY, Emerson Elias. Crowd: sphinx of public health, place of inflection, ideas of common asset. Saude soc. [online]. 2015, vol.24, suppl.1, pp.44-54. ISSN 0104-1290.

Public health emerges and acquires a unique expressiveness in many places, albeit under different forms, according to the power games to which they were submitted. One trace makes itself present: domination, through a certain savoir-faire (just like a biopower), of the life dynamics of the population groups, to be able to act upon it and thus also dominate the crowds in their movements: whoever escaped would be monitored, captured and excluded. This is savoir-faire power about how many people die, how many are born, what they die of, and how to avoid it. How to enter and control this game, this is the sanitary obsession and paranoia. This article starts a conversation about thinking of the crowd as a kind of sphinx that the public health system must unearth to be able to control it, just like certain ways of governing others, both individuals and groups. Making it a population is always its strategy of central power. In the contingency of Rio de Janeiro, which some time ago raised the street issue intensely, added to the city's presence in the key world events, the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics, the situation of street signals has been acquiring highly specific expressions regarding the relationship between a crowd and public health, which opens windows for our views about some of the dilemmas that we now face: the making of a crowd in several ways puts at risk the very Government strategies that bank on the construction of the 'population' category."

Palavras-chave : Public Health; Crowd; Street Signs; Population; Power Relationships; Biopolitics.

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