Communicative action, democracy and health

Elza Machado de Melo About the author

We tried to validate, through Habermas Communicative Action Theory, the idea that health as being a right is only possible if it is a product of autonomy of all the subjects involved, needing therefore, the establishment of an indissoluble relation with democracy. First, this work presents the concepts of linguistic understanding, communicative action, discourse and lifeworld, and the way these concepts become linked in order to create a social theory. After that, we demonstrate how Habermas makes use of this theory to formulate a Theory of Rights and Democracy. In transferring this Theory to the health area, we came up to a proposition that health as a right can be understood as a result of a confront between the systemic imperatives, mediated by money and power in one side, and, on the other side, by communicative political formation processes of opinion and will, which belong to the Life World. Finally, recovering the analyses of Illich, Foucault Pollack, Arouca and others - we tried to identify how these authors dealt with the elements of power, money and solidarity. We came up to the conclusion that the adoption of the Communicative Action Theory is useful, because it permits us to incorporate the remarks to the health practices, without giving up of the assistance of the citizens' necessities.

Communicative action; Violence; Health promotion


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