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date: 26 September 2022

Advancements in Social Sciences Applied to Health in Latin America and the Caribbeanlocked

Advancements in Social Sciences Applied to Health in Latin America and the Caribbeanlocked

  • Aurea Maria Zöllner IanniAurea Maria Zöllner IanniUniversidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Saúde Pública
  •  and Patricia Tavares RibeiroPatricia Tavares RibeiroCentro de Estudos, Políticas e Informação sobre Determinantes Sociais da Saúde, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation/FIOCRUZ

Summary

The second half of the 20th century saw the development of social thought in health in Latin America and the Caribbean in which the social sciences had a central role. Such an innovative development was based on the understanding that health and disease are social processes that require the understanding of different health contexts. The origins of this development dates back to the renewal of medical teaching in Latin America, which had important support from the Pan-American Health Organization. The so-called field of social sciences in health then took shape, especially beginning in the 1970s and 1980s. The social sciences became part of teaching and assistance activities in social medicine and public health in many countries and contributed to consolidating postgraduate programs and networks of professors, researchers, professionals, and government agents who were active in public health actions and policies. Regarding Latin American realities, the issues of inequality in incidences of sickness and death and in the healthcare delivered to populations became relevant during this time. In close dialogue with relevant social groups, these actors have been significant in constructing responses to health problems in the region. Given the profound political, social, economic, environmental, and sanitary changes that took place in the transition from the 20th to the 21st century, social thought has attempted to meet the new empirical as well as theoretical and conceptual challenges to social sciences as applied to health. The analysis of the trajectory of this regional development, its details, advancements, and limits, is an important endeavor that should help to encourage suggestions toward bettering public health as well as fairness in these times of uncertainties and of new risks for humanity, as evidenced in an unprecedented way in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Subjects

  • Global Health
  • Theory and Methods

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