What importance does place have for women's identities, and how can that importance be investigated through academic research? In this chapter, I will consider these questions. I begin by looking in more detail at the argument that life in contemporary or late modern society is so different from the past that people have changed even in the ways that they understand their own lives and who they are ± that is, in their identities. This is the broad argument of the re¯exive modernization thesis in sociology (see Adkins, 2002). It suggests the identities given by society ± by who people are born to be, if you like ± have lost their importance compared to the identity which each of them makes for her-or himself, as part of an individual and re¯exive identity project. In Section 2.2, I discuss the work of the sociologist Anthony Giddens, who is probably the most famous proponent of the re¯exive modernization thesis.