"The first edition of this book brought difficult questions about selfhood together with equally awkward issues of power and the 'social'. Not since Mead or Goffman, perhaps, had this been attempted in such a useful way, and in such an assured and accessible text...This completely reworked second edition retains all of these virtues, and takes the original analysis into new territory, not least with new chapters on gender and class...If you're interested in identity - particularly how identity 'works' - this book is essential reading". (Richard Jenkins, Professor of Sociology, Sheffield University). "A foundational book, beautifully framed for this new century. The old theories of self and identity must be revisited in these times of global and cultural transformation. What kinds of selves are now available to us? Which theories best help us make sense out of who we are today. Burkitt brilliantly charts a path through this complex set of issues, and we owe him a huge debt for doing so". (Norman K. Denzin, Distinguished Research Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). This new, completely revised version builds on the popular success of the first edition. It seeks to answer the basic social question of 'who am I?' by developing an understanding of self-identity as formed in social relations and social activity. Comprehensive, jargon-free and authoritative, it will be required reading on courses in self and society, identity and personality formation.