Performing Islam: Gender and Ritual in Iran (Women and by Azam Torab

By Azam Torab

"Performing Islam" describes and analyses quite a lot of ritual actions marking, every now and then starkly contrasting, spiritual anniversaries and lifestyles path occasions in Iran this present day. Arguing that ritual performances in Iran are robust boards the place principles advance, and the place principles, symbols and discourses are contested, the quantity elucidates social, cultural and political procedures, yet specifically the values and ideology underpinning gender buildings in a swiftly altering complicated society. analyzing the ambiguous and metaphorical language of the rituals, the research unearths how gender ideologies are projected and renewed, but in addition challenged, destabilized and ridiculed, supplying probabilities of self-expression, innovation and incremental swap within the gender constructs. critical to the analyses are questions about the dynamics of gender functionality as items of energy and politics now not easily of which means or tradition.

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Additional resources for Performing Islam: Gender and Ritual in Iran (Women and Gender: the Middle East and the Islamic World) (Women and Gender: the Middle East and the Islamic World)

Example text

My secular upbringing in the years of the Shah was readily seen as a product of the times and they generously excused my ignorance of the religious injunctions, attributing it to my absence from Iran for most of my formative years and beyond in pursuit of other knowledge. But the women did make certain demands. These included conforming to their strict code of dress. When I attended the ceremonies, I wore a black veil and thick black stockings instead of the overall and headscarf prevalent in the northern parts of the city where I lived myself.

As Donna Haraway writes, there is nothing about being ‘female’ or ‘being’ female that naturally binds women divided by forced consciousness of class, race and so on (1990: 197). Similarly, ‘patriarchy’ makes no sense when a man’s position in the household is not confirmed by his experiences of race or class. Feminist scholarship has long explored the implications for political action given the multiple differences within as well as between the genders. ) such as neighbourhood, reli- introduction 17 gion, political orientation and class, as well as unitary gender.

They adhere to the religious injunctions (ahkam-e din) which include daily prayers (namaz, Arabic salat), fasting (rouzeh), payment of the religious taxes (khoms and zakat) and other duties prescribed for Shi'i believers. They frequently commended my decision to study religious practices and considered it a religious duty to encourage my attendance at their ceremonies. Although I was straightforward about my research, they wanted to assume that my intent (niyyat) was more than academic. Most of them understood my interest to be ‘folkloric’, to study ‘manners and customs’ (adab va rosum), as they called it.

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