The Forms of Silence: Media Coverage on Neglected Diseases in Brazil

  • Raquel PaivaEmail author
  • Igor Sacramento
Part of the Global Transformations in Media and Communication Research - A Palgrave and IAMCR Series book series (GTMCR)


Brazil is characterized by a noticeable divide between modern structures generated through capitalist expansion and archaic structures that vary from one region to another. However, this is not so much a geographical issue as it is an issue of the level of penetration of capitalist modernization in the service sector, including the realm of health. Half a century ago, the Brazilian Economic Development Theory (we refer to the economist Celso Furtado 1954) was able to point out the reason for this dualism within the phenomenon of underdevelopment, the presence of “hybrid structures”, one part of which would tend to behave like a capitalist system and the other remain within a pre-existing structure, comparatively archaic. It aims to provide advanced services (high-level hospitals, competent doctors) but excludes those disadvantaged by their income. This exclusion refers not only to people of a certain social class, but also to the characteristic diseases of the archaic sector of those hybrid structures. This is the framework in which this chapter analyzes the media’s systematic silence on diseases “from another era”, which paradoxically persist as an endemic in contemporary life. It argues that silence or discursive negligence seems to be an indication of the media’s implicit complicity with the hegemonic sphere of production and supply of health services-related information.


Social Determinant Yellow Fever Human African Trypanosomiasis Dengue Case Basic Sanitation 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CommunicationFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Health Communication Research LaboratoryOswaldo Cruz FoundationRio de JaneiroBrazil

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