Urban Iranian youths as the pivotal subjects of social movements in Iran 1
Based on an ethnographic research study on youth in an affluent neighbourhood in Tehran, this paper explores the social movements among the Iranian youth in relation to the religious and ideological dictates of the Iranian state. The ideological directions of the Islamic Republic have decisively affected young Iranians’ identities and self-representations. After 1979, Iran had dramatic ideological changes to the extent of a cultural revolution. As a result, young people and citizens in Iran had to perform as faithful Muslims in the public sphere. This chapter is based on anthropological research carried out for a year in 2009. The main subjects of the research are youths who were born after the Iranian Revolution, known as “Nasle-Sevom”, or “Burnt Generation”, and have a relatively more reformative political orientation. The author reconstructs the image of the urban youths that dream of a “changed future” by understanding the position of the Iranian youth within the nation, as well as the social circumstances and psychological problems they face.