This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores how the popular culture we produce and consume creates a sense of closeness and remoteness for all of us, living in a world in which we are pressured to conform, in ways that few of us can fully achieve. It examines five dimensions of identity: race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability status. The book addresses questions of national identity on global comparisons and includes the comparisons between gays and lesbians to allow for gender analysis and to include racial comparisons as well. It provides as a field guide for any student or scholar who is interested in studying the influence that identity has on commercial culture. The matrix of the culture industry and the matrix of identity are two powerful social forces that work together to significantly shape modern life.