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The notion of self has become crucial for contemporary cultural studies in its examination identities. Identities are often conceptualized as an engagement of the individual’s self—their condition of being a person—with broader cul-tural cons tructs. However, in addition to being culturally situated, the constitution of selves may be conceived of through identity-construction phenomena whereby individuals’ subjectivities take up, or resist, the subject posi-tions made available in discursive practices. Selves—the notion of ‘Who and I?’—may only be understood as resulting from power-based discourses and cultural practices. In this respect, the idea of the self could be best made sense of in the broader context of the circuits of cul-ture where identities are conformed together with other key cultural processes including representation and cul-tural production, consumption and regulation. The chapters in this collection explore the relations of selves with a wide range of cultural products (e.g. mass media, poetry, fiction, film, painting, advertising, the Internet, education, the institutional, etc.) across a multiplicity of social, political, geographical and historical contexts. Selves are accordingly approached through the study of the interplay between identity-construction processes and cultural products within particular circuits of culture. It is the conditions of such cultural circuits that have an impact on specific faces of the self. This is indeed the case of gender, race and ethnicity, nation and age, which are dimensions of the self that are drawn attention to throughout the contributions in this volume.
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