This study explores how masks are employed - metaphorically and literally - to construct identity. Seeking to extend the traditional application of the notion of disguise beyond ethnographic or dramatic perspectives, it offers a range of approaches to interrogating the role of disguise in social life. Contributors present possibilities for treating masking not only as a disguise for identity but as an integral part of it. In this sense a mask is not only a social code inscribed on the individual body: it becomes one with the body. The book is divided into two sections. The first examines the mask as a device in the construction of gendered identity; the second considers it in terms of marginalization of "othering".