Dual Society and Culture Wars in Iran
A lecture by:
Huchang Chehabi, Boston University
Lifestyle issues have been at the forefront of important tensions and conflicts in Iranian society for over a century. The origin of these tensions lies in the adoption by many Iranians of elements of European everyday culture that other Iranians found offensive. By the 1960s the differential adoption of Western ways by different Iranians had resulted in a dual society, and the tensions between the two segments of this dual society were one of the elements that sparked the revolution of 1979. Under the Islamic Republic, lifestyle issues have been the object of much state policy, engendering resistance among a growing number of Iranians to the point where the seemingly unending tussles over veiling, public concerts, and coffee shops are often called “culture wars.” This talk traces the development of the dual society syndrome and the culture wars that have accompanied it.