We celebrate the launch of one more issue of Saúde e Sociedade that reinforces its traditional marks of thematic diversity and valuation of methodological plurality and multiple approaches in the field of public health. The mission of the journal's Editorial Board is to preserve and strengthen its vocation in times of increasing participation of the Brazilian scientific journals in the world's production. This work has ensured Saúde e Sociedade's relevance as a theoretical and methodological reference for studies, academic research and in health services assessment.

The present issue opens with the paper written by the anthropologist Mirian Goldenberg, who analyzes the role of the body as an important form of capital (physical, symbolic and social) in the Brazilian culture based on the ideas of Gilberto Freyre, Marcel Mauss and Pierre Bourdieu. Her approach conceives "the body" as a capital which synthesizes three concepts: 1) the body as insignia (or emblem) of the effort each one has made to control, imprison, and domesticate the body in order to achieve "good shape", 2) the body as a fashion icon (or brand), which symbolizes the superiority of those who possess it, and 3) the body as a prize (medal), deservedly earned by those who were able to achieve a more "civilized" physique through hard work and sacrifice.

In this issue there is a block of four papers that deal with the transversality between gender and public health, with innovative approaches concerning the ambivalent stereotypes of men and women in the imagery of male adolescents aged between 12 and 16 years; the consequences of vasectomies performed in the public health services in the city of Campinas, state of São Paulo; women's representations and decision about parturition; and an analysis of the policies for addressing HIV/AIDS in the perspective of the intersection between race and gender. The original approaches of these papers ensure new focuses for classic themes in the scope of public health and make their reading be even more profitable.

Among the other texts that compose this issue, I would like to highlight the one entitled A importância da participação cidadã nas políticas de saúde: o caso da reestruturação dos serviços de saúde materno-infantil em Portugal (Citizen participation relevance in health policies: the case of the maternal and child health services restructuring in Portugal). It deals with the difficulties that reside in the broad definition of the modalities of public participation in the process of social policies, and analyzes the protest actions as a legitimate modality of participation in the public decision-making processes. The study's object is the process of maternity wards closure in Portugal, a measure that was implemented in the restructuring of the maternal and child health services of that country and the consequent protest actions developed by the local populations affected by the measure.

The present issue continues with the paper that approaches a methodology to the equitable allocation of federal resources to Sistema Único de Saúde (National Health System) by proposing formulas for Primary Health Care and Medium and High Complexity procedures. The authors propose the replacement of the usual rule, in which resource allocation based on production, and not on the population's needs, prevails, by a formulation that takes into account the technique of principal component analysis. They propose methodological adjustments and changes in the definition of the reference scale, mainly for medium and high complexity procedures, so as to achieve a more rational public resource allocation.

Saúde e Sociedade invites its readers to enjoy one more issue, certain of having fulfilled its editorial mission of indicating ways and offering new reflections and approaches to the treatment of old and new themes in the field of public health.


Irineu Francisco Barreto Junior

On behalf of the Editorial Board

Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br