Rethinking alternatives in Worker’s Health from an emancipatory perspective

Marcelo Firpo de Souza Porto Bruno Sena Martins About the authors


In view of the severity of the Brazilian crisis involving serious setbacks in social policies, the purpose of this essay is to think alternatives for future interventions in Workers’ Health from an emancipatory perspective. It is an invitation to reflect on new theoretical and political horizons for discussing Workers’ Health from the reference of the postcolonial approach and the proposition of the Epistemologies of the South (EdS). The EdS reflects the work of the Portuguese social scientist Boaventura de Sousa Santos around an alternative thinking of alternatives inspired by knowledge produced in social struggles of the groups that were made subaltern. After presenting a synthesis of the EdS and the concept of abyssal thinking, we discuss some limits and potentialities for thinking new theoretical, thematical and political horizons in workers´ health. Then we reflect on how industrial disasters are emblematic by articulating radical exclusion processes within and outside the factory walls. Finally, we discuss the potential of EdS to open the debate on possible interventions in Workers’ Health, bringing new theoretical frameworks to the field, and enabling the broad and radical rethinking of the epistemological and political agendas to come.

Worker’s Health; Epistemologies of the South; post-colonial approach; industrial disasters; abyssal thinking

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