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Print version ISSN 1517-4522
VIANNA, Maria Lucia Teixeira Werneck; CAVALCANTI, Maria de Lourdes and CABRAL, Marta de Pina. Health participation: what are we talking about?. Sociologias [online]. 2009, n.21, pp. 218-251. ISSN 1517-4522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-45222009000100010.
This article was prepared under the project Gestão Participativa em Saúde (participative health administration): a study and systematization of the academic production and the experiences with health councils and conferences developed in the Laboratório de Economia Política da Saúde (laboratory of political economy of health) at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). The author presents some thoughts on the status of the concept of participation in the field of social sciences, within a historical perspective, for the purpose of providing a background to enable a more accurate understanding of the recent and recurrent use of this concept, as well as its increased association with the field of health. These are temporary formulations presented in order to stimulate debate and contribute to clarify questions on the possibilities and limits of the instances of social control within Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS - unified health system). Then, the paper presents a preliminary review of articles in the field of Public Health, published in Brazil over the past two decades, concerning "social participation and health", i.e., works on the mechanisms of social participation in the health system, including the councils created (or institutionalized) as a result of the law 8142, in December 1990. This article is a preliminary study, since it is a research in progress and because it presents considerations not fully developed in order to stimulate debate.
Keywords : Political participation; Social participation; Participation and health; Health councils.