Theorizing about the other. Vulnerable groups and strategies for social inclusion in public health policies: a brief account of Brazilian case

Rubens Camargo Ferreira Adorno (Based in the Faculty of Public Health, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, Brazil)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Publication date: 23 March 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to address the issue of contemporary vulnerabilities in the context of late capitalism, analysing how policy making directed at the public health system in Brazil has targeted groups that are made visible from an exclusion perspective, whether by their sexual, ethnic, geographic or gender identities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses the array of public policies behind the construction and development of the Brazilian Unified Healthcare System, confronting them with ethnographic research of practices of care in health services.

Findings

The themes of vulnerability and health are being worked upon within the public health system in Brazil as forms of “inclusion”: discrimination and prejudice are considered one of the aspects of health vulnerability. Government health policies are supporting projects, seminars and methods of facilitating social movements' expression, and also concrete actions towards denouncement of discrimination, which has been criminalized. However, contemporary public health is also a new normative field adapted to the neoliberal market, where risks are individualized and individuals are held responsible for what they do with their bodies.

Originality/value

The focus on both governmental policies and practices of public healthcare in the Brazilian context, highlighting the complexities of the application of risk and vulnerability discourses will be informative not only to scholars in the field of public health, but to practitioners and policy makers alike.

Keywords

Citation

Rubens Camargo Ferreira Adorno (2012) "Theorizing about the other. Vulnerable groups and strategies for social inclusion in public health policies: a brief account of Brazilian case", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 4-11

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/17479891211231365

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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