The Textualization of Ethnic Identity in Iran: Local Intellectuals and Translation of Religious Text in Gilan(north of Iran)

By Somayeh Karimi.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Irrespective of the oral culture of ethnicity, ‘text-creating’ emphasizes identity and cultural self-definition. At the same time that the mass media; radio and TV were providing and transmitting some Islamic programs in their own ethnic languages, ethnic writers commenced inscribing religious texts in rare written sources such as ethnic journals. Consequently the gap between governmental and intellectual literature was eliminated due to the adaptation of ethnic discourse to Islamic discourse. In other words, a religious ethnic text could be considered as a strategy to preserve ethnic identity by legitimizing the vernacular in Islamic social discourse. Since the main concerns of ethnic intellectuals has been the spread of some global trends which cause the disappearance of ethnic features, applying religious translation in Gilaki might be another motivation for them to record their language. It should also be noted that the Islamic discourse of society is constituted mainly by Shiite.Thus religion can be seen as one of the main features specifically maintaining ethnic identity in traditional societies. This in turn has resulted in use of the religious texts in Gilaki as a powerful means for ethnic intellectuals to increase the use of the ethnic language.

Keywords: Textualization, Intensified Normative Order, Ethnic Intellectuals, Gilak Ethnic Identity

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.359-366. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 605.729KB).

Somayeh Karimi

PhD Student, Ethnology Department, Exellenzcluster of Normative Orders, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Somayeh Karimi, born in 1980, Tehran. Higher education: B.A. in anthropology at Tehran university 1998-2002, M.A. in Anthropology at Tehran University 2003-2005, researcher and writer of some articles in anthropological journals or books in Tehran such as: “Sacred Economy”, Journal of Research Centre, Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization, 2006, Tehran. “Culture of poverty and crime”, in Crime and Culture, ed. by Q. Biabani, karagah Publication, 2006, Tehran pp27-86. “Scape and crime” with Alireza Hassanzadeh, Journal of Karagah, criminal anthropology. Feb. 2006, Tehran. “Women anthropologists” in Memories of Iranian Anthropologists, ed. By J. Moshiri, Afkar publication, 2008, Tehran. “Methodology, ethnic memory and anthropology” in Memories of Iranian Anthropologists, ed. By J.Moshiri, Afkar publication, 2008, Tehran. “Applied anthropology and answering to society problems” in Journal of Karagah, Jan. 2008, Tehran. “Food and the system of exchange” in Food and culture, ed. By A. Hassanzadeh. Mahrnamag, 2008, Tehran; and writer of two books:” Tehran Bazaar, study of bazaarian by economic anthropology perspective”, and “Study of Afghan children in Iran, an anthropological view”. PhD candidate, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main since 2009.


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