The Meaning of Difference focuses on the social construction of difference as it operates in American formulations of race and ethnicity, sex and gender, social class, sexual orientation, and disability. The conceptual structure of this text-reader comes from four framework essays addressing the construction of difference, the experience of difference, the social meaning of difference, and social action that might bridge differences. Each framework essay is followed by a set of readings selected for readability, conceptual depth, and applicability to a variety of statuses. Boxed inserts throughout offer first-person accounts from real people, many of them students. This edition features an expanded focus on disability and 29 new readings, including articles on how immigration is transforming the nature of American race and ethnic categories, the changing shape of higher education, and the experience of Americans of Middle-Eastern descent.