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French psychoanalyst and philosopher Luce Irigaray is a central theorist in debates that shape the contours of Western feminist theory, including essentialism/antiessentialism, poststructuralism, psychoanalytic feminism, and issues concerning the sex/gender system and corporeality raised by queer theory and feminist theories of the body. Irigaray's work emphasizes questions concerning relationships among language and bodies, specifically male and female bodies and masculine and feminine language. Her focus is on the female body and how it has been constructed in phallocentric systems of thought, especially Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis. In feminist social theory, Irigaray is part of New French Feminism along with Hélène Cixous, Julia Kristeva, and Monique Wittig.

Born in Belgium in 1932, Irigaray moved to France in the 1960s where she received her master's degree and subsequent ...

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