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Aftandil Erkinov

For centuries poetry was the most important arts genre in Central Asia. In order to be recognised as a member of the educated classes, it was obligatory to learn hundreds of poems. Even the Soviet regime (1922-1991) exploited the Uzbek people's love of poetry for its own political ends - the propagation of communist ideology. However, linked to the processes of globalisation, interest in poetry has diminished considerably in Uzbekistan over the past several years. People have become less attracted to the romance of poetry than to actual business, benefits and material values. To modern Uzbek society, poems come only in the form of lyrics for popular music. Globalisation has made poetry a minor genre among the Uzbek arts. To be a poet had been a respected profession for centuries. Now it has lost its prestige, as former poets turn to other occupations.

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Soraya Tremayne

This article examines the interface between modernity and traditional cultural values. It suggests that Iranian society, in spite of its Islamic theocratic regime, is on one level an open society and has shown a surprising degree of flexibility in adapting to change. Yet on another level, Iran remains a closed society with strong cultural ties that act as unifying factors controlling the boundaries of interaction between the old and the new. One of the manifestations of the deep-rooted values that determine the form and extent of the acceptance of modernity is the consideration of one’s ‘face’ in public. ‘Face’ acts as a regulating agent directing the choices people make vis-à-vis societal change. The article concludes that social interactions and decisions taken by individuals in all public aspects of their lives, regardless of class, age, ethnic origins or gender, continue to be profoundly influenced by ‘face’.

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Epilogue

Mapping the Topography of Oppression

Jenny White

During today’s crisis in Turkey, victimhood authorises oppression, oppressors see themselves as victims and the oppressed are not only the poor, but educated middle classes. Citizen and state are imbricated in the same political and discursive fields where people mobilise against one another, some moving up and others down, creating unexpected landscapes of victimisation and oppression that do not fit comfortably in literature that analyses ‘politics from below’. How do we conceptualise this in a way that respects people’s understanding of their coordinates in a complex landscape of power? This article interrogates some basic assumptions of this literature, including the impact of the observer’s position and the oppression/resistance framework, replacing it with a model of politics as a shared horizontal topography of action across a terrain of values.

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Balancing the Here and There

Transnational Mobilities of Moroccan Middle-class Professionals in Istanbul

Christian Ritter

This article explores the ways Moroccan middle-class professionals residing in Istanbul have forged transnational connections since the 2006 free trade agreement between Turkey and Morocco. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, the article finds that research participants embrace three interdependent mobilities – imaginative, corporeal and virtual. First, Moroccan television viewers imaginatively internalise images of Turkish society through Turkish programmes broadcast in Morocco. Then, Moroccan nationals engage in physical travel to Turkey, initially as tourists, but later also as job seekers. Finally, Moroccan residents of Istanbul travel virtually to keep in touch with friends and family through media such as online platforms and instant messaging applications. In this article I argue that users of virtual environments have developed into new transnational brokers, facilitating the spatial extension of border-crossing networks.

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Soheila Shahshahani

Ceremonies are a very important part of Iranian life. They have definite order, ritual and objects associated with them. The political and economic situation of individuals taking part in a ceremony mark them, and if there are various classes, positions and gender, they are all markers of ceremonies. To study any topic in terms of the duality of traditional and modern versions has become banal and too simplistic. Looking at one single ceremony, indeed even looking at only a few hours of a ceremony can show how malleable are the boundaries of a ceremony, to be affected by many factors. Regarding the few hours that I am reporting about, the following factors are involved: an earthquake; the Islamic Revolution and the reactions to it; satellite television; and consumer goods; as well as changes in people’s way of life that have affected the availability of time, the availability of space, and, finally, the place of the visual, the centrality of the camera in organising a ceremony in a way that it can be recorded in an acceptable manner for later viewing. Responding to all these changes and trying to hold together a very important ceremony and a number of people who must be kept together through ceremonies is what gives the following its meaning and urgency of its reporting.

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Appalling Tehran

Translation of the French Serial Story and Its Effect on the Persian Serial Story

Manizheh Abdollahi and Ehya Amalsaleh

mullah or the pseudo-modernist intellectual in ordinary Persian’ (2002: 9). Jamalzadeh’s work, like that of some serial stories, allows audiences from across social classes to consider contemporary social problems in new ways. Although there are

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Finding a Place to Sit

How Qatari Women Combine Cultural and Kinship Capital in the Home Majlis

Rehenuma Asmi

than Western feminists have done in the past. 1 She is unsuccessful in swaying Johara’s opinion about Western feminists, as Johara continues to criticise the appearance of feminists she met in these classes. She takes issue with the way they present

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Edited by Soheila Shahshahani

where social change was in view, so use of language reflected change in social classes, which involved political critique and hope for a future with more justice. All the contributors to this issue are sensitive to symbols and emotions. The Anthropology

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Ambiguous Attachments and Industrious Nostalgias

Heritage Narratives of Russian Old Believers in Romania

Cristina Clopot

means that there are no dedicated classes in formal education. The knowledge of Slavonic, a dead language, is then preserved through informal learning structures. In various villages and cities across Romania, children are schooled in correct

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Manijeh Nasrabadi, Maryam Aras, Alexander Djumaev, Sina Zekavat, Mary Elaine Hegland, Rosa Holman, and Amina Tawasil

hierarchies around race, class and sexuality that made collective organising difficult, the question of Palestine became a defining issue for the theory and practice of an emerging ‘black internationalist feminism’ (pp. 186–187). How did this new political