Las ciencias sociales y la salud en la modernización de Venezuela


Ciência & Saúde Coletiva




The social sciences have been involved in health programs in Venezuela since the turn of the 20th Century, but their role has been changing as the country has undergone successive transformations and the scientific community has matured. This article analyzes the social sciences’ actions in the medicine/ health field in Venezuela over the course of the 20th Century. Variables relating to the changes and/or transformations occurring in society, the State, and academia were specified, permitting the identification of five phases denoting different styles and ways of conceiving the relationship between the social sciences and health: a) the social dimension as a field of medical discovery; b) the social dimension and environmental health as supports for modernization; c) professionalization of the social dimension - from social medicine to the social sciences; d) the social dimension as a critique of the dominant powers; and e) the social dimension’s diversity - from medicine to health. The social sciences’ critical and constructive actions in the field of medicine and health, their contribution to the State’s health programs and actions, and research activities have yielded them acknowledgment as a key element of the social changes required for the so-far inconclusive modernization of Venezuelan society.

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