Alberto Torres and the sanitarians: State intervention in body education (1910-1930)

  • Edivaldo Góis Junior Universidade Estadual de Campinas


This article describes the relation of an important Brazilian intellectual man, Alberto Torres, to the sanitarian thought. It discusses Alberto Torres’ understanding as an intellectual man characterized by pessimism regarding the Brazilian people. In the Brazilian context of overcoming, named as “delayed”, above all from the organizational and political point of view, the intellectual man provided severe and deep reflections on the Brazilian politics, as well as the characterization of the Brazilian man. To do this, a survey of secondary sources was conducted about the thought of this author and that of the sanitarian movement. Subsequently, primary sources were analyzed, delimited by Alberto Torres’ books. The study concludes that the intellectual man was opposed to racial determinism, advocating for an intervention in the public fields of health and education. So, he has influenced and has been influenced by the Brazilian sanitarians, whose central concern was also the State’s intervention, the improvement of environmental conditions as a preventive tool, generating the construction of a national identity.


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How to Cite
Góis Junior, E. (2014). Alberto Torres and the sanitarians: State intervention in body education (1910-1930). Saúde E Sociedade, 23(4), 1445-1457.