Social medicine and the social sciences in Latin America: conceptual tensions for the transformation of public health in the 20th century


Original English article published by Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Global Public Health:

The development of public health in Latin America during the 20th century combined, early on, the social medicine framework on the social, political, and environmental origins of disease with the contributions of medical anthropological fieldwork. Despite the hegemony of the medical model, the surge of the preventive medicine framework further legitimized the involvement of social scientists in the study of the multicausality of disease. However, the limitations brought by the preventive medicine model’s lack of historical and political contextualization gave way to the Latin American social medicine movement, which was grounded in historical
materialism, and the development of both critical epidemiology and critical medical anthropology.

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Opinion and analysis