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"Kevin White guides us through the many reasons for the centrality of health showing clearly that health and illness are the products not just of our biology but of the society into which we are born. He expertly draws on the works of Parsons, Marx, Foucault and feminist writers to provide an authoritative analysis of the social nature of health." (Ray Fitzpatrick, University of Oxford). "I have used this book for many years because it is so well written, and it is easy for the students to understand." (Julianne Law, Bangor University). "An excellent introductory text to help the students to begin to critically analyse different perspectives on health." (Debbie Chittenden, University of Bolton). This is a new edition of the best-selling textbook for students of the sociology of health and illness. Free of jargon, intuitive about student needs and well versed in course requirements, Kevin White's book is used widely across both health and sociology schools.