The synthetic proposition examines the impact of Civil Rights, Black Power, the student, feminist and sexual-liberty movements on conceptualism and its legacies in the United States between the late 1960s and the 1990s. It focuses on the turn to political reference in practices originally concerned with abstract ideas, as articulated by Joseph Kosuth, and traces key strategies in contemporary art to the reciprocal influences of conceptualism and identity politics: movements that have so far been historicised as mutually exclusive. The book demonstrates that while identity-based strategies were particular, their impact spread far beyond the individuals or communities that originated them. It offers a study of Adrian Piper, David Hammons, Renée Green, Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, Silvia Kolbowski, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Lorna Simpson, Hans Haacke, Andrea Fraser and Charles Gaines. By turning to social issues, these artists analysed the conventions of language, photography, moving image, installation and display.