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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

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


WENDHAUSEN, Águeda  and  CAPONI, Sandra. Dialogue and participation in a local health council in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.18, n.6, pp.1621-1628. ISSN 1678-4464.

Although we are accustomed to believing that dialogue must involve participation, actual practice shows that it can occur in different ways. In this study, conducted in a municipal health council in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil, the discursive mechanisms and strategies that appear as "obstacles" to this dialogue were analyzed, based on the minutes from 39 council meetings. Dialogue remained absent even though the council was intended as a forum for participation. Among the strategies, certain expressions which Umberto Eco refers to as "hypercodifications" were identified. Such expressions apparently act to block any debate in the council. The hypercodifications identified in this study were expressions of technical, administrative, and political jargon. Through these discursive strategies, the authors observed that language is used as a ruse, closing off possibilities for democratic interlocution, effectively cutting off dialogue. Thus, there is little transitivity in the power wielded by various segments in the council, which ended up concentrating primarily in the government sector.

Keywords : Consumer Participation; Health Policy; Health Planning Councils.

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