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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


BODSTEIN, Regina Cele de A.. Citizenship and modernity: the emergence of the social issue on the public agenda. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1997, vol.13, n.2, pp.185-193. ISSN 1678-4464.

The guiding thread of this article is the inclusion of the so-called "social issue" on the public agenda from modernity through its more current developments. The study seeks to demonstrate that one of the meanings of modernity is precisely the radical inversion of the meaning of public and private, providing for the broadening of public space. Far from being associated with a given bourgeois capitalist model, modernity thus projects itself as a reinvention of rights, citizenship, and contemporary democratic experience. Over this long course, the individualization process has been seen as a crucial factor for understanding both the ideology of modern societies and - paradoxically - the very emergence of social sciences. The individualist concept, emphasizing the specificity of modern representation of the social sphere, i.e., its characteristic as a self-instituting society, allows for a broadened understanding of the public domain. In this sense, the ideological polarization between liberal conceptions (favoring individualism) and Marxist ones (linked to holistic representations of the social sphere) should be reviewed, since this polarization has repercussions on the very analytical tools used by social sciences.

Keywords : Social Issue; Rights; Citizenship; Public Policies.

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