This book is about meaning. It is about the meanings we make with words and with the symbolic values of every object and action. It is also about social relationships, from the temporary or enduring relationships among individuals to the more general and pervasive relationships between men and women, old and young, rich and poor, straight and gay, ‘our kind’ and ‘their kind’. I believe that matters of meaning and matters of social relationship are so interdependent that we must understand both to understand either.