Secularization of Iran: A Doomed Failure? the New Middle Class and the Making of Modern Iran

By Boroujerdi, Mehrzad | The Middle East Journal, Winter 2000 | Go to article overview

Secularization of Iran: A Doomed Failure? the New Middle Class and the Making of Modern Iran


Boroujerdi, Mehrzad, The Middle East Journal


Secularization of Iran: A Doomed Failure? The New Middle Class and the Making of Modern Iran, by Azadeh KianThiebaut. Paris: Institut d'etudes iraniennes, 1998. 258 pages. Resume en francais to p. 269. Bibl. to 285. Index to 296. n.p.

In Secularization of Iran: A Doomed Failure?, Azadeh Kian-Thiebaut aims "...not to write the history of twentieth century Iran. As a sociologist, [she] only highlight[s] significant historical moments to show the contribution of the new middle class in the making of modern Iran" (p. 7). Elucidating the aspirations and capacities of the oft-neglected middle class, the author offers a relatively new and praiseworthy approach to the study of Iranian politics. Yet, this book is not without shortcomings. Most significantly, KianThiebaut does not present a compelling or holistic account of the middle class's saga and, thus, has difficulty substantiating her claims about the failures, successes, and prospects for secularization in Iran.

Recognizing the nebulous and non-cohesive character of the middle class, Kian-Thiebaut, in the introductory chapter, dissects this group horizontally and vertically, differentiating between the new and traditional, the urban and rural, as well as the upper and lower middle class constituencies. She defines the members of the new middle class as those who are "graduates of secular institutions of higher education, do not own means of production, and are composed of two groups: the salaried of the public and private sectors, and the liberal professionals" (p. 7). Kian-Thiebaut traces the formation of the first generation of the new middle class (i.e., bureaucrats, doctors, engineers, journalists, lawyers, teachers, university students, etc.) from "...the beginning of the twentieth century until the 1930s" (p. 18). The rise of this class was one outcome of state-led modernization efforts (p. 20) and the expansion of educational opportunities (p. 73). The author goes as far as to say that "the new middle class has been a political creation" (p. 255).

Kian-Thiebaut contends that a democratic system of government would rest on the shoulders of the new middle class, which has adopted a modernist sub-culture and a largely secularist, liberalnationalist discourse. Assessing the social, political, and economic potential of the new middle class, the author concludes that "the failure of secularism was the outcome of temporary circumstances" (p. 10) and that secularist forces still have a promising future in Iran. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Secularization of Iran: A Doomed Failure? the New Middle Class and the Making of Modern Iran
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.