Hazards of Modernity and Morality: Women, State and Ideology in Contemporary Iran

  • Afsaneh Najmabadi


There are two periods in modern Iranian history in which the terms of the ‘woman question’ (mas’ale-ye zan) have been shaped as a central part of an emerging climate of political ideas and social concerns. The first, in the late-nineteenth/early-twentieth century, ushered in the era of ‘modernity’ and ‘progress’, an era during which, despite an underlying animosity towards European intrusion, Europe’s social and political achievements provided the model for modernity and progress. It was generally thought the intrusion itself could be resisted through becoming like the European Other. The ‘woman question’, meaning the now problematic place of women in a modern society, was for the first time posed in that context. The second period, from the mid-1960s to the present time, marks the rejection of the previous paradigm and the creation, reappropriation, and redefinition of a new Islamic political alternative.1


Islamic Republic Iranian Society Islamic Movement National Front Islamic Revolution 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1991

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  • Afsaneh Najmabadi

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