Between East and West and the Politics of ‘Cultural Ingénuité’: Irigaray on Cultural Difference

Penelope Deutscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This article compares the status of sexual and cultural difference in Luce Irigaray's earliest work and her most recent publication Between East and West (2002), in which Irigaray argues that a culture of sexual difference would facilitate improved structural relations between those of different cultures, races and traditions. Many commentators have argued that Irigaray's recent, more simple formulations on legal reform must be understood in the context of the early, very complex Irigarayan concept of sexual difference. But what about Irigaray's recent formulations concerning cultural difference? Are we to understand these as based on an ‘aporia’ of recognition, as are her formulations on sexual difference? The article argues against such an interpretation, and considers problems arising from the disjunction between Irigaray's treatment of sexual and cultural difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalTheory, Culture & Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • French
  • difference
  • feminism
  • multiculturalism
  • postcolonialism
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Between East and West and the Politics of ‘Cultural Ingénuité’: Irigaray on Cultural Difference'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this