Background and Introduction Race, class, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, physical ability, native language, immigration status and more make up the complex mosaic that is identity politics in the United States. In the social sciences, differentiation is the term used to signal that differences exist. These differences are often identified, experienced, and quantified. They also serve as markers of separation that become convenient labels or constituents in larger social structures. Identity politics is what happens when differentiation is privileged. Related to this, stratification is that delicate, yet sometimes impenetrable, process of morphing difference into hierarchy--not simply allowing gender differences to exist, for example, but insisting that men are better than women, and in terms of sexual identity, that heterosexual is better than bisexual, or when looking at racial existence, that White is better than Latina/o. When identity politics and stratification merge, intersectionality is present and social identities become magnified, adding to the complexity.