The Iranian Revolution Essay

The Iranian Revolution Essay

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The emergence of the Islamic Republic in late 1970’s Iran demonstrates how middle class Iranian people purged themselves of the Pahlavi Dynasty in an effort to continue down a more righteous and egalitarian path. As a result, the country underwent a complete social upheaval and in its place grew an overtly oppressive regime based in theoretical omnipotence. In response to this regime, the very structure of political and social life was shaken and fundamentally transformed as religion and politics became inexorable. As a result, gender roles and the battle between public and private life were redrawn. Using various primary and secondary sources I will show how the Revolution shaped secular middle class Iranians. Further, I will show how the Revolution redefined the roles of women, family, and class in the process.
The aftermath of the Islamic Revolution and, subsequent founding of, the Islamic Republic in 1979 essentially transformed Iran into a blank state. The Iranian people wanted an end to the monarchy dominated by the Pahlavis for the last half century and their choice was Ayatollah Khomeini. Khomeini took advantage of the vulnerable Iranian state and instilled an oppressive theocracy to eliminate any competitor. Khomeini appealed to his public at large by asking Iranians if whether Iran should be an Islamic Republic? While it remains to be seen whether any other answer would have generated a benevolent response, 98.2% out of twenty billion votes cast affirmed this fact. It was in this specific event that Khomeini was able to take influence of the Iranian people, and never let it go; he accomplished this through oppression. In the book, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, the opening book demarcates the overt transition from pr...


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...e lasting effects have forced women to cope and evolve. More secular middle class women, according to Kian-Thiebaut, “…led Islamic and secular women to join hands, re-appropriate modernity, and challenge institutionalized gender inequality… The result is that they now perceive themselves as women/individuals rather than exclusively as mothers and wives.” The relaxation of the relationship between religion and politics is directly related to the increased individualization of women in the late Twentieth Century. Kamrava’s text, which was published in 2005, points out that while the political environment has become less oppressive, it has “done little to change the sad state of the country’s economy or to redraw the institutional features of the state. But it has made a determined effort to change and refine the cultural essence of what it means to be an Iranian…”

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