This concluding chapter presents a synthesis of discussions in the preceding chapters. It argues that we have yet to formulate a theory that can incorporate with explanatory adequacy the struggles regarding social status, social class, and social identity into one overarching account. One of the most serious obstacles facing any attempt to formulate an overarching theory is that the ontological basis of the focal point is very different if we are talking about status, about class, or about social identity. The concept of identity, as it is actually used in common practice, does not entail or even necessarily suggest the reifying effects that identity critics portend. What identities really are (as opposed to what they are sometimes said to be) is nothing to be politically afraid of.
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