In this chapter, we begin our investigation of the political and social uses of heritage and their role in the construction, elaboration and reproduction of identities. The debate builds upon the relationships between heritage and the ideas of legitimation, cultural capital and dominant ideology briefly exam­ ined in Chapter 1, but is sited within geography’s wider concerns with the meaning and representation of place. This latter debate has been heavily informed by the contested concept of identity and its relationship to con­ structions of place. Again geographers are much exercised with landscape and the dichotomy between its interpretation as a physical entity or, alterna­ tively, as a symbolic, socially constructed representation derived from inter­ pretations of words and images. Heritage can also be viewed in these latter terms, not least because - as we have seen in the previous chapter - it is fun­ damental to constructs of identity. Moreover, landscapes and other empirical manifestations of the heritage complex are in themselves unlikely to be ‘real’ or ‘authentic’, and may even have been purpose-made or purpose-built, while we have argued that meaning is more fundamental than artefact in defining the content of heritage. Hence it must be emphasized that we are concerned with the interplay between knowledges of heritage in the context of politics and power, but also with their physical manifestation in built environments. Inevitably, too, the study of heritage must address the questions as to why certain knowledges are privileged while others are suppressed.