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From identity crisis and identity politics to national identities, diaspora, and sexual identities, this new terminology of recent years has been the focus of key debates related to identity in cultural studies. 'Identity and difference' examines the challenge of these debates and outlines their application to central questions of gender, sexuality, embodiment, health, race, and nationality. The importance of identity and difference in the contemporary world is illustrated at multiple levels - global, local, and personal. The contributors demonstrate the ways in which identities are constructed for and by individuals and question notions of the fixity of identity and difference. Explanations from essentialist, social constructionist, psychoanalytic, feminist, and discursive approaches are explored as well as the complexity of contemporary identities including popular discourses of motherhood, health, and the body. 'Identity and difference' combines theory with in-depth discussion of the most common areas of contested identities. Providing activities and selected readings, it will be essential for students and researchers in cultural studies, popular culture, and social theory.