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The dialogues between anthropology and health: contributions to public policies

In order to examine the development of anthropological paradigms and their dialogue with medicine, I divide the discussion into two general, but non-exclusive, approaches: one that focuses on health and disease as social and cultural experience and construction, and another that examines health from an interactional and political perspective. For the first approach, I focus on North American and French theories that find resonance in the anthropological dialogue in Brazil. For the second political approach, the discussion originates in the dialogue among anthropologists in Latin America who have been developing models to contribute to an interdisciplinary approach necessary for health policies and intervention in health. The concepts of practices in self-care and intermedicality, among others, are explored due to their contribution in anthropology to public policies in health. These anthropologists have argued that health practices should be understood through the notions of autonomy, collectivity, agency and praxis, as opposed to the notions of the biomedical perspective characterized as being universalist, biological, individualist and a-historical.

Anthropology of health; Self-care practices; Autonomy; Public polices; Theory


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