SOCI-365 Politics and Culture of Iran
Spring for 2007-2008
Twenty eight years after the overthrow of the Pahlavi monarchy regime in Iran, Iranian politics, culture, and society still remain enigmatic to many observers and scholars, both Iranian and Western. Only in the last few years have journalists, social scientists, and politicians utilized concepts and expressions such as “the country’s struggle to be both an Islamic state and a genuine republic,” “the unthinkable revolution,” and “the Persian puzzle” to characterize the essence of the Islamic revolution.
The main purpose of this course is to shed light on the political and cultural developments in post-revolutionary Iran. While following a historical methodology of likening pre-revolutionary Iranian society to the 1978-79 Islamic Revolution to the post-revolutionary decades, the course will also focus on certain pertinent themes and issues essential for a coherent understanding of today’s Iran. They include topics such as Iranian-Americans conflict, the role of women, changing political culture, Iran’s atomic plans, and demographic factors.
The course will also engage students with a number of questions and debates including: “whether all politics in Iran stemmed ultimately from theological conflict,” whether democratic political change is a viable alternative to the present theocratic system, the contradictions of modernity in Iran, the similarities and differences between the democratization process in Iran and other Middle Eastern and peripheral societies, and the roots of the conflicts between Iran and the United States.
This course appeals to a wide range of students, Iranian-Americans, other Middle Easterns, particularly those in social sciences, as well as those in various government agencies with an interest in Iran.
Prerequisites: A course in SOCI is recommended.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Spring '08: Mashayekhi, Mehrdad (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
Other academic years
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