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Saúde e Sociedade

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


OSMO, Alan  e  SCHRAIBER, Lilia Blima. The field of Collective Health: definitions and debates on its constitution. Saude soc. [online]. 2015, vol.24, suppl.1, pp.205-218. ISSN 0104-1290.

At first sight, Collective Health might seem to be multiple and fragmented. Aiming to understand better what defines it as knowledge and activity in society, we made a theoretical review of historical and epistemological considerations developed by researchers who dedicated themselves to characterizing it as a scientific and social field. First, based on this literature, we provide a brief panorama of the emergence of Collective Health in Brazil. It is important to notice that its origins date back to the end of the 1970s, in a context in which Brazil was experiencing a military dictatorship. Collective Health emerges, at that moment, connected with the struggle for democracy and with the Health Reform movement. We show the influences of preventive medicine and social medicine in its constitution. Then, we explore different attempts to delimit it as field of knowledge and practice. We sought to present Collective Health not through one single definition, but taking into account the multiplicity of constructions about it that we found. This allows us to point to an identity of difficult development and that is still under construction.

Palavras-chave : Collective Health; Public Health; Social Medicine; Scientific Domains; Knowledge.

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