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The fully revised edition of this highly respected textbook addresses the most important theoretical and empirical debates in the sociology of health and medicine. Chapter by chapter the book examines important issues such as the complexities surrounding health and identity, health inequalities, and the organization and provision of health care. A particular strength of the book is its careful attention to theoretical developments in the field. The second edition has been rigorously updated to take account of recent theories and evidence in medical sociology. New to this edition are discussions of globalization, individualization, medicalization, new medical technologies and the sociology of the body. The new edition also looks in detail at recent social change and hotly debated explanations for the patterning of health by socioeconomic status, gender and ethnicity. In addition, it examines developments in contemporary health care, including the reconceptualization of patients as consumers. The result is a text that will be of interest to upper-level undergraduates and postgraduate students in sociology and social policy, as well as students of the allied health professions looking for an in-depth and forward-thinking introduction to medical sociology.