In today’s fast changing and interconnected global world, researchers in a variety of areas have come to see identity as an important analytic tool for understanding schools and society. A focus on the contextually specific ways in which people act out and recognize identities allows a more dynamic approach than the sometimes overly general and static trio of “race, class, and gender”. However, the term “identity” has taken on a great many different meanings in the literature. Rather than survey this large literature, I will sketch out but one approach that draws on one consistent strand of that literature. This is not to deny that other, equally useful, approaches are possible, based on different selections from the literature.