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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


MORENO-ALTAMIRANO, Laura. Reflections on the health-illness-disease-care: a socio-anthropological view. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2007, vol.49, n.1, pp.63-70. ISSN 0036-3634.

Current reflections on the health-disease-care process are due to a complex and ancient legacy where diverse attempts at understanding it have their roots. This work consists of a brief overview of some approaches that have been used to interpret this process throughout history. The social and anthropological approaches are specially emphasized; the role of symbolical efficiency and the anthropological concept of "word-healing" are also mentioned. As a central point, the ontological, dynamical, and social models proposed by Canguilhem to interpret these processes are reviewed. Afterwards, the decades central to the 19st century are discussed, when positivism and the scientific basis for medicine were fully established. The insufficiency of the single-cause model and other explanations for factors involved in generating disease are described. In addition, the socio-political situation as a factor for disease is considered, as is the way in which the sociological concept became widely held. Finally, contemporary trends are described based on the interpretative perspective of medical anthropology, with special emphasis on the development of the concepts of disease, illness, and sickness.

Keywords : Health; Illness; Disease; Care; Socio-Anthropological.

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