What are the limits of medical power? How has sociology helped to make sense of illness, disease, choice and risk? What are the challenges to medical practice? This timely and assured text provides lecturers and students with a well informed, penetrating analysis of the key questions in medicine and society. The book is divided into three sections. It opens with a well judged account of the context of health and illness. It moves on to examine the process and experience of illness. Finally, it examines how health care is negotiated and delivered. The result is an accessible, coherent and lively book that has wide inter-disciplinary appeal to students of medical sociology, medical care and health management.