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Health, subjectivity and work: the clinical and gender approaches

Jussara Cruz de Brito Mary Yale Neves Simone Santos Oliveira Lucia Rotenberg About the authors

In this article, we address the theme "health, subjectivity, and work" using two approaches. The first one follows close to Canguilhem's vitalist concept to understand the relationship between health and work, discussing the theoretical view of Work Clinics - the Ergonomics of Activity, the Work Clinic, the Psychodynamics of Work - and the Ergological perspective. The other approach focuses on gender analyzed from the perspective of the appropriation of working time. To accomplish this purpose, we searched the state of art on the theme and presented results of empirical studies related to services (education, health, and telemarketing), including analyses produced by our investigations, integrating them with these theoretical contributions. The analyses revealed the importance of the social recognition of work, which nature comprises a strong symbolic component that allows subjects to construct a meaning of work. Everyday negotiations of life, and consequently of health, are permeated by class and gender social relations. Time constraints differ according to gender, resulting in different levels of tolerance to the environment. The contributions showed that the movement, the dynamics and the constant changes inherent to life (and work) are aspects to be included in analyses of work-health relationships.

workers' health; gender; work clinics; time; ergology

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