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Sociology and its applications are key components of the core foundation programme in nursing and healthcare. Sociology of health and health care is an essential textbook for all students of nursing and healthcare and is organised in four parts: the nature of sociology and sociological research; the social patterning of health and disease; the social aspects of illness and dying; and the organisation and delivery of health care. Sociology of health and health care explores the nature of sociology and sociological research and their application to health and health care. It explores the impact of current social contexts on health and healthcare and recent developments in healthcare policy and addresses their implications for nursing and inter-professional working. This fourth edition also examines new approaches to understanding social inequalities in health and experiences of chronic illness and dying.