The purpose of this research is to analyze social practices in the work of community health agents (ACSs) in the city of Recife, state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Accordingly, a qualitative approach was adopted, whose theoretical-methodological aspects were founded on historical and dialectic materialism. ACSs have a unique role, because they deal with an important crosssection of social classes in their work and living spaces. Despite the institutionalization of their work, it still contains references forged during their work with the community and the population at large. We emphasize that the institutionalization of the work of ACSs, in and of itself, is a contradictory and conflicting process from the standpoint of institutional policy, since the practice developed by them incorporates popular wisdom and practices that may create tensions. At the same time, it is important to remember that the territory where the ACSs live and operate exerts an influence on their professional production.
health work; family health; community health agent