Irigaray, Luce(1932-) Belgian-born philosopher and psychoanalyst noted for her association with French psychoanalyst Jacques LACAN In contrast to Simone de BEAUVOIR, for whom women constitute the Other, Irigaray argues that because both Self and Other are understood from within a phallocentric (male-centred) signifying economy, in which women are the unrepresentable real, she has no language or identity of her own. To counteract this imbalance of power women must therefore create themselves in the symbolic in order to be valued by culture. Irigaray's aim in writing is to present herself as a subject at the centre of self-creativity without submitting to the masculine order. As such her work varies between poetic and instructive rather than the orthodox academic form which she would argue reinforces a phallocentric symbolic order. Her most notable work includes Speculum of the Other Woman (1985), An Ethics of Sexual Difference (1993) and Je, Tu, Nous: Toward a Culture of Difference (1993).
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000