Among the Iranians: A Guide to Iran's Culture and Customs by Sofia Koutlaki

By Sofia Koutlaki

Offers an within examine the hidden principles that exist between Iranians, from well mannered habit and the underlying inspiration of face to gender roles to the picture that Iranians are looking to venture to the world.

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Extra info for Among the Iranians: A Guide to Iran's Culture and Customs

Example text

I have had similar experiences with readers of earlier drafts of this book. Despite explaining that the reason for writing this book has been to make Iranian culture and everyday life better known to Western readers, male readers repeatedly have expressed concern that the book would provide “grist to the mill” for Iran’s enemies by including facts or opinions that might show Iran in a negative light. Women, on the other hand, generally thought that my work was an accurate representation of Iranian culture and everyday life.

It is lent to them by society on condition that they behave in ways appropriate to the face they project. ” He concedes that such behavioral strictures function as a jail, but that does not necessarily mean that people dislike their cells. Apart from upholding and protecting their own face, individuals are also concerned with others’ feelings and strive to help them uphold their face because they empathize with them. Goffman emphasizes that both face orientations—the defensive one toward the speaker’s own face and the protective one toward the face of others—are often simultaneous, even though one of them may be predominant at times.

The innermost circle includes the individual’s immediate family: parents and siblings if single, or spouse and children if married. In the latter case, in the next circle out are the parents, siblings, and their families and the person’s own in-laws. The circle beyond that includes paternal and maternal uncles, aunts, and cousins, and their spouses and children. All these relations provide the basis of the social network that every individual in a given family belongs to. Traditionally the family fulfilled many roles that in Western societies—and now increasingly in Iran, at least in urban settings—are played by financial institutions, day care centers, family counselors, and even doctors.

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