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Revista Costarricense de Psicología

On-line version ISSN 1659-2913Print version ISSN 0257-1439


MOLINA-AGUILAR, Jorge. Self-care and self-medication: reflections and challenges from the ontology of a social being. Rev. Costarric. Psic [online]. 2021, vol.40, n.2, pp.107-129. ISSN 1659-2913.

Self-care, although most of the time is seen as a public health problem, may also be considered an act of empowerment and counter-hegemony if it takes into consideration the autonomy of social groups to self-understand and self-alleviate a disease or illness. When it comes to the institutional health care context, self-care becomes a space where various types of institutions, knowledge, and representations coexist. Due to the foregoing, social actors practicing self-care re-signify and decentralize medical practice and scientific knowledge, by means of their practice of self-medication. The objective of this article is to explain how selfcare and self-medication are part of an individual’s everyday life, and how this practice is not limited to the medical realm; instead, it proposes to locate self-care practices as part of larger discussion about the ontology of a social being, expressed in categories such as the home and the everyday. But doing that poses a series of challenges that require thinking about self-care and self-medication from a perspective of disciplinary pluralism, ranging from anthropology and medical sociology to health economics, psychology and pharmacology. Home is reflected as the first real space of attention, where secular practices and micro-subversive tactics are expressed; also, everyday life as a reflection of historical, social, political and environmental aspects, among others. A care model is proposed beyond the office and the private, transcending the classical idea of a doctor’s office.

Keywords : Self-care; self-medication; Everyday Life; Home; Hybrids; Social.

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