Challenges on the historiographical horizon related to assistance

February 2020

HCS-M supplement cover on philanthropy.

Since the late eighteenth century, assistance institutions have been an important source of support for government policies, and organized themselves from more general discussions on philanthropy, a concept which brought together seemingly disparate issues such as the abolition of slavery, the medicalization of hospitals, work regimes, the evils of poverty, civility, and hygienism, among many others. 

In their introductory note, Christiane Maria Cruz de Souza, from the Instituto Federal de Educação Ciência e Tecnologia da Bahia, Maria Renilda Barreto, from the Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica Celso Suckow da Fonseca, Renato Franco, from the Universidade Federal Fluminense, and Tânia Pimenta, from Casa de Oswaldo Cruz/Fiocruz, guest editors for the supplement on philanthropy of Historia, Ciencia, Saude-Manguinhos journal (vol.26 no.4 Oct./Dec. 2019) expose how philanthropists proposed the reform of “society” and advocated solutions for abandoned children, hospitals for the poor, freedom for slaves, education for workers, dignity for prisoners, extension of health policies, among others.

The challenge, they affirm, is to understand the success of traditional institutions which were also the main vectors of scientific thought and the reinvention of modern assistance. “But this does not entail creating an ‘origin myth’ for assistance establishments, which would inexorably bring welfare back to the government, as an idea devoid of all the personalism of the old models. It is important to understand how the values and actions that drove social groups were historically targeted within the logic that affected them”, they point out.

The guest editors take as an example of such the Santa Casa da Misericórdia Brotherhood, not only to discuss the recent historiography on this topic, but also to point out challenges that may be useful for new investigations. 

Read in HCS-Manguinhos:

SOUZA, Christiane Maria Cruz de et al . What new developments related to assistance are on the historiographical horizon?. Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos (v. 26, supl. 1, dec.  2019).

Read the supplement on philanthropy HCS-Manguinhos vol.26  supl.1 Rio de Janeiro dec. 2019

Read HCS-Manguinhos  vol.26 no.4 Oct./Dec. 2019

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