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Revista Brasileira de Saúde Materno Infantil
On-line version ISSN 1806-9304
SAMPAIO, Marisa Amorim et al. Anthropological and psychoanalytical observation: theoretical and methodological dialogues in a doctorate programme in mother and child health. Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. [online]. 2012, vol.12, n.1, pp.75-81. ISSN 1806-9304. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-38292012000100008.
Participant observation can vary considerably depending on the theoretical inspiration, nature/design of the research and relationship researcher-subjects. In the ethnographic study developed in Brazil (July 2009 - August 2010), among other techniques used, Bick's observation (rooted in psychoanalysis) was introduced and adapted. The aim was to understand processes involved in the communication between professionals at a Family Health Strategy and mothers/dyads (mother-baby) about breast feeding. Based on this study, a sandwich project was designed: to develop a deeper understanding of Bick's theoretical and practical approach, its relevance for research and broader applications; to promote a transdisciplinary dialogue between anthropological and psychoanalytic observation. As a student at Tavistock (UK) I attended seminars and developed observations in another variation of the setting. Aware of the ethics of the method, Tavistock has been widening its' scope, not seeing it as a unique model, but a comprehensive way of thinking human uniqueness, facilitating the researcher's capacity for self-analysis and a diversity of applications. Although my reflections are preliminary, the potential of Bick's to innovate research methods cannot be ignored. In the contemporary field of mother-child health we do not face a single concept of science, but new/renewed paradigms of thought and diversity of methods.
Keywords : Ethnography; Psychoanalysis; Mother-child relations; Breast feeding; Comprehensive health care.