There could be many treatments and negotiations on the nature of Persian modernness. This topic requires an independent treatment. Several deductions and footings have been used to present Persian modernness in modern-day clip. Traditionalism, west-oriented, western-followers, economic independency, marginality, fundamentalism, bigotry, and others are among footings which have been used by the Persian minds and politicians to show new Persian state of affairs. It seems that the full footings mentioned supra have been taking at the contextual elements of the Persian modernness. If so, the Persian modernness is non a pure and incorporate issue ; but is in fact a assorted and historical affair with several extremums. The chief extremums are religious-trends and anti-religious ideas, Westernization and anti-western political orientations. What we are discoursing is the consequence of blending all these elements and classs.

Conceptual position:

After World War II, most of the societal and political minds have thought that the lone manner of developing the 3rd universe states is following by the Western states. This thought has internalized by governors by doing the a new planning and managing of the development establishment and develop the people. Because of disregarding the internal factors such as human resources and cultural affairs this program has failed. Therefore, many of the developing minds have changed their thoughts and criticized modernisation paradigm. The paradigm alterations from the traditional position which focuses on a general and unify program to the new one ( Hage, 1980, Wallarstine, 1989, and Berman, 2000 ) . They have supposed the thought that each state can develop based on its societal, cultural, and economic fortunes. Berman has emphasized on different versions of modernisation in all of the universe. It should see the Persian instance per Se. On the other manus, the lone manner of seeing this procedure theoretically right is to concentrate each civilization and society based on its experiences.

In footings of the history of modern epoch in Iran, relationship with European societies in the nineteenth century gave a new visual aspect to the domestic activities of the state in political, cultural and economic respects and made Iran a state different from both its ain yesteryear and other states of the part. On the other manus, reaching of military engineering, industry sets, new trade and banking system, modern cognition and scientific discipline, set uping some new establishments such universities and schools, new ways of preparation and instruction, communicating agencies, books publication, picture taking industry, societal and cultural evens such as societal motion in Qajar government and later Constitutional Revolution in 1905 and followed it by the Iranian/ Islamic Revolution in 1979 were all effectual in the development of the new environment in Iran. This new epoch has been defined by societal scientists and Intellectuals as modern epoch ( Azadarmaki, 2001 ) .

Each one of the above-named elements had have a different function in altering the Persian traditional universe to new, developing a modern universe. This shows that Iran is a society in the international context non stray portion. Iran has gotten the modern place through the international society. Hence, it is non true to state that Iran is out of the international and planetary infinite because of double relationships. It should state that there is common and common relationship between Iran and Western states and civilizations over clip. What happened was a planetary multinational ties with their authoritiess and civilizations. This relationship makes some possibilities in the micro and macro degrees. In micro degrees the people learn how to profit the society and in the macro degree society alteration through new societal and technological events. The chief thought in different degrees ( single, local, institutional, national, and international 1s ) the society get modern. Hence, it is true that the Iran in the center of twentieth century has involved on a new societal and cultural fortunes which can be said that the society is in the procedure of province modernisation than societal. The consequence is province edifice than society edifice.

To put up event ( s ) , clip or infinite for get downing place of Persian modernness is really hard. Because there is less common sense among Persian intellectuals on this affair. Some believe the function of publishing books and literature as to be higher than engineering ( Bahar, 1299 ( 1920 ) ) while those who defend mercenary development believe engineering as to be more of import than cultural and literacy redevelopment. However, this paper is non seeking to place the difference of positions in this country.

In footings of the above theoretical position, we are concerned to discourse and place the new state of affairs of Iran within the model of planetary modernness non Western modernness. Hence, the chief inquiry is as follow: “ What is the nature and features of Persian Modernity? ” . If we want to hold a perfect apprehension on this state of affairs, we should work on a wide model which many inquiries can be raised:

– Is Persian modernness a suited term in showing the new state of affairs of Iran?

– Within what processes the Persian modern experience have formed?

– What are the features, specifications and elements of Persian modernness?

– Who have been the chief builders, decision makers and refiners of Persian modernness?

– Is Persian modernness acquirable, examinable with capacities to be through empirical observation examined or, if it is a topic merely to be sensed?

Based on our chief purpose in this paper, among the above inquiries, we are traveling to work on the undermentioned inquiry: “ What is the nature of the new state of affairs of Persian society. Can we name this state of affairs as Persian modernness comparison to Western modernness?

The Nature of Persian Modernity:

Harmonizing to point of position of some of the rational and minds ( Azadarmaki 2001, Pahlavan, 2004 ) for more than one hundred and 50 old ages, there has been an interaction between the Iranian traditional universe and the modern West through minds, politicians and business communities and the state of affairs has been in a manner that no word can be said of the life and idea of Persian people if this topic is non considered. Some other Persian minds has argued that this interaction peculiarly by politicians in Iran and European has been started long clip ago, since 15th century ( Milani, 2001 ) .

By and large, based on the literature on this affair, there are several demands incorporated in this state of affairs as follows. First of wholly, the present state of affairs and its definition as “ present ” is a accomplished instance. Stressing on “ present ” as world is the chief thought which many Persian intellectuals, creative persons, film shapers, authors, and politicians have focused and started their idea and activities on. For illustration, Persian film shapers labeled their plants based on Persian non cipher or savaged and backward people. They have dogged their mundane societal life and do films on it. Then, we can see that Persian film shapers have got many international awards. In footings of deriving the awards in the national and international festivals, Persian film shapers are in the 3rd degrees compare to whole universe.

The consequences of stressing and understanding “ the present clip and state of affairs ” has been developed based on their experiences in the present. Non of the Persian activities in political relations, universities, and market, is isolated her/his from others. They have defined themselves through Western civilizations. On the other manus, Persian people have a international or planetary sense of themselves. There are many societal events which support our thoughts: the sum of immigrants in twentieth century, the sum of Persian travellers to outside, watching the orbiter, and caring international events. Persian people call themselves every bit Persian as portion of the universe non isolated or against of it.

The state of affairs contains somehow a incorporate sense of Persian individuality. To demo thesis, we have done a study in national degree with 2530 sample size ( Azadarmaki, 2003 ) . The study largely focuses on societal values in Iran which is based on a questionnaire with 287 inquiries. The chief object of the study is to demo the nature and constituents of values in Iran comparison to other societies. By the manner, we can analyse the informations in footings of different coevalss ( three coevalss: immature, in-between and old one ) . Because the new coevals is the chief force of value alterations ( from stuff to non-material one ) ( Inglehart 1975, Moaddel and Azadarmaki 2003 ) .

To cognize how Persian people have defined themselves, we have asked some inquiries which are related to the individuality. The first inquiry is to cognize “ Are you proud of being Persian? ” The concluding responds presented in the tabular array:

Table ( 1 )

How much do you plume to be Persian

I Pride to be Persian

I do non plume to be Persian

Non Respond












The 2nd inquiry is: “ How make you name yourselves in footings of been Persian or Muslim, both or others? ” We have got the following responds which has presented in the talbe:

Table ( 2 ) :













Non Respond






To acquire a better apprehension of Persian individuality, we have asked another inquiry: “ Which one of the geographical groups do you belong to?

Table ( 3 ) :

Geographic groups

First pick ( per centum )

Second pick ( per centum )

The topographic point ( metropolis or community ) which I am populating



The Provicne



Iran in general



Middel East



The World in general



Non Answer






Most of them have defined their individuality with Persian and Muslim dimensions. In their position to be Persian is under two labels as Muslim or Iranian. Therefore, we can state that they called themselves as Muslim/Iranian or Iranian/Muslim.

The modern Persian experience for all who are someway related to is considered as a finding factor in forming life and its reading. In another universe, it has produced the methodical and societal demands. We can see some constructs which has been used by societal minds on this state of affairs such as “ semi-modernity, ” “ semi-bourgeosi, ” and “ contradictional state of affairs ” . But we think that the most suited look to suit Persian experience is “ the Persian Modernity ” term. The ground for this labeling is Berman ‘s position in his book, The experience of Moderdity. He is stating that any of the societies in the universe has its ain experience and it can be called modernness. Hence, there is a sort of particular experience which is shaped by the universe ‘s modernness.

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The Persian modernness has been extracted from the Persian cultural and societal contexts and by the Iranian ; nevertheless, others such as the yesterday ‘s western people and today ‘s western people ; that is, the Americans and Europeans had a portion in its formation as good. In this instance, the Persian modernness could non be formed without relationship with the western modernness ; for, the interaction between Persian in the modern universe has been the land to organize Persian modernness.

Different positions on Identify Persian Modernity:

With the premise that Persian modernness is a accomplished fact and is non an stoping narrative and that, it is under the procedure of alterations and transmutation as a consequence of confronting current events and accidents, its designation is non a simple issue. The Persian modernness is recognized merely when should be understood and recognized in the everyday life.

If it is limited in the history of relationship with planetary modernness, relationship with Persian traditionality and duologues, andaˆ¦..Iranian modernness is apt to be recognized, studied and hunt. In continuance, some of the ways to analyze them are noted: ( 1 ) the hunt in Persian modernness from Western modernness point of view, ( 2 ) the hunt in Persian modernness from Persian tradition point of view, ( 3 ) the hunt in Persian modernness with regard to its inner duologues, ( 4 ) the hunt in the Persian modernness with regard to the history of its alterations and formation, and ( 5 ) the hunt in the Persian modernness from point of views of nucleus inquiries and issues which have been studied and earnestly discussed by the claimants and the research workers in Persian modernness.

Among the ways mentioned above, in footings of my forte in sociology which require to concentrate on societal constructions and thoughts over clip, a brief comment will be made to the 5th manner. It is to seek in the Persian modernness from the position of chief inquiries and issues refering with Persian and Western state of affairss and civilizations. In this position, we may acknowledge different positions on modernness and the bing claim in the manner which society alterations in modern idea.

The chief nucleus in the theoretical issues and the practical and empirical attempts in modern-day Iran has been to find the proportion and relationship between tradition and modernness. In another word, the nucleus inquiry which is considered by all minds, decision makers, politicians and contrivers of modern-day Iran could be af follow: “ Is at that place any relationship between tradition and modernness in Iran? If the reply is positive, “ how is this relation, more Persian or modern and Westernized? ” Hence, we will see many thoughts which contains back uping or knocking and against of modernness. Each of these thoughts is the manner to demo the relationship between two state of affairss and are portion of Persian history. The minds who are promoderity supports the new thoughts. In add-on, others who are against of modernness are more influence of modernness than who was showing it.

A brief scrutiny should be made to reply to inquiry ( s ) of the Persian bookmans and minds on the beginning of relationship with the modern West. This novice of Persian modernness. Some of the Persian bookmans and ideologues have raised their inquiries with more lucidity. However, inquiries of some of the minds and bookmans require some more geographic expedition and deduction. The Persian modern literature has been formed within the duologues of westernized, diehards, spiritual and cultural attacks, anti-cultures, anti-planners, pro-planning, do-gooders, institutionalists, ideologues, Pan-Iranist, Pan-Islamist, anti-west, west-oriented, secular, religionists, right-wingers, collectivists, intermediate, ultraists, innovators, obedientaˆ¦ . With no purpose to judge these duologues ( since the committedness is toward the 3rd manner mentioned above ) it is better to hold a brief reappraisal on the chief inquiries of chief characters of the chief statements and positions of the above-named duologues:

1 – Westernalized or West- Oriented position:

The bulks of the Persian intellectuals and politicians since knowing ( by going to west and reading the civilization ) the West since early 19th century have been more supportive to the West than to be against of it. They have started by this proposition: the Persian society is in the procedure of retardation ( Akhonzadeh, Agha khane Kermani, Malkom Khan, Azadarmaki, 2000 ) . Whereas the West is in the procedure of developing. In this position, many of them have tried to happen why and how the society acquire this state of affairs comparison to the West. Many Intellectuals have worked on this thought since Ghajar government ( eighteenth century ) to now. They have thought that the lone manner to be modern is to be follower of the West socially and culturally. Akhonzadeh, Agha Khane Kermani, and Malkom Khan in late 18th and early nineteenth century and Taghizadeh in the late of nineteenth century are chief figures. All of them are supportive to the West and knocking the Persian tradition, civilization, faith, and political relations. By and large, they have said to acquire the engineering, scientific discipline, and modern civilization by the West if the society has modern establishments and tools ( engineering ) . Hence, each of them are supportive to modern manner of instruction and preparation kids. Changing the linguistic communication ( from Farsi to English ) , set uping modern schools, and newspapers are their three suggestions for overhauling the Persian society.

This position has a cultural, political, and administrative application. In the Qajar ‘s clip, Malkome Khan has proposed a new jurisprudence “ Tanzimat ” to do province more rational. Mirza Fathali Akhondzadeh who was one of the minds in the Qajar ‘s dynasty has proposed a replacement linguistic communication because he thought that the chief cause of Persian retardation is Iranian linguistic communication. Subsequently on, many governmental intellectuals and contrivers have tried to follow engineering from outside to do society more modern. To This undertaking has started since 1960s by back uping of United States of America. All of afford has organized in an establishment for planning and budgeting. They have thought that purchasing the new engineerings means be modern. While the functions and civilization and society has ignored.

-Anti-Western or hidebound / spiritual position:

In this position, there is a chief inquiry, argument, and some major figures such as Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri in Ghazar period and Jalale Ale Ahmad in Pahlavi Regim.

The chief inquiry is to demo how Persian traditions such as faith and societal life can maintain in malice of utilizing Western engineering. Many of people in this position assume that there is a possibility to utilize the Western engineering and maintain their ain civilization. Hence, the society as a whole prepare to acquire the benefits of modern life but to avoid to be expressions like the Western civilization. Most of the spiritual leaders in the clip of “ Constitutional Revolution ” in 1905 accepted to hold parliament, political parties, new mass media, new establishments, and engineering. But they were afraid to free their cultural individuality through domination of European thoughts.

Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri is the guardian and innovator of right-wingers ‘ duologue in Iran. He is affected by the inquiry raised in his historical period ; that is, to find the relationship of tradition and modern universe and attempts to happen some contradictions between spiritual orders and modern Torahs. In another word, his inquiry is this: “ What sort of relationship does be between spiritual orders and modern Torahs? ” In knocking democracy in Iran, he defends the traditionality in different ways. So, in political sense he supports Persian monarchy. Therefore, Sheikh Fazlollah ‘s modernness is a monarchial modernness.

Jalale Ale-Ahmad is another rational figure in 1950s and 1960s in Iran. He is the best symbol of supporting tradition after holding a long Westernization procedure in Iran. His core inquiry is: “ How the relation with the West effected Persian society and civilization? ” He criticizes modern epoch based on its civilization, cognition and engineering which has effected the Persian society over clip. Methodologically, Ale Ahmad makes the Persian universe in two sides: Traditional and Westernized 1. Because, in his position which is derived from dependence position, more Marxist oriented, capitalist economy makes the whole universe in two sides: the hapless and rich states. The hapless side of the universe can non hold adequate power, engineering, and productions. While the riche side has more power, prestigiousness, scientific discipline, engineering, production, and so on. This duality had distributed anyplace ( Ale Amad, p21-22 ) . Ale Ahmad seeks this duality in the Persian literature, political relations, civilization, economic system, and history. Hence, he has defined the Persian society in the manner of be more expressions like the West non modern. He has used a construct for the state of affairs in Iranian word: Gharbzadeghi. His agencies by this word is that the society makes its shape expression like West even its context is traditional 1. Ale Ahmad ‘s modernness is anti-technology and anti -machine.

To do his position more sufficient, he look back to the history and redefine the history in footings of battle with the West. On the other manus, he is stating that dependence to West ( European states ) has a history. It has started since 14th century when Iran has occupied in Moqul period.

As he has argued in his book, the chief factor which makes the society more expressions like the West ( Gharbzadeh ) is machine which got its legitimacy through the hegemony of West. He defines West the topographic point and ambiance which is able to do machine based on modern scientific discipline. In his position, foremost of all the lone manner of been modern internally is to acquire ruddy of the West. Second, if the Persian society can do machine is independent society as the West is.

3- Cultural attack:

The pro-Western modernness has three stages: ( 1 ) in the first stage which is in the Ghajar period, largely the people ( including intellectuals and politicians ) make themselves look like the Western people. tin the 2nd physiological reaction of pro-Western modernness in Iran a critical and cultural position has been raised. Because many have emphasized that this society can be defined by its civilization ( faith ) . Hence, the civilization is manner of thought and making in Iran. The chief concern of the minds that clip has been to demo how it is possible to do their our civilization more modern through redefining it self. The chief discourse has raised: “ redefining and restituting Persian egos in the shadow of a common relationship between Persian tradition/culture and the West ” .

There are some major figures which emphasized on redevelopment of tradition and civilization such as Seyed Moammad Ali Jamalzadeh and Sadegh Hedayat. The first figure is the chief symbol of literary modernist rational. While supporting literary modernness tradition, he besides tries to polish traditional attack every bit good. His inquiry is:

“ Is it possible to set up relationship between the Persian literary tradition and the modern-day literary of the universe? ” To demo what he means, Jamalzadeh makes a diseased review of the modern and traditional literary motions in the modern-day Iran to uncover bing failings and strengths. Jamalzadeh tries to demo how much Persian traditional literature has been affected and harmed in the modernisation procedure. In another universe, he expresses the amendss occurred to the literary redevelopment motion in modern-day Iran.

Cross to the above position, some of the intellectuals went back to the history and attempt to do connexion between the old clip with the present culturally and politically. The major figure of this sort of thought is Sadegh Hedayad. He is the chief symbol of supporting Persian tradition and criticizes dogmatic fundamentalism and stupid modernness. While supporting Pan Iranism- in the historical and cultural context- criticizes the spiritual literary tradition and defends secular literary tradition. Therefore, his inquiry is: “ How and under what status, Islam has been impacting the cultural and literary isolation of Iran? ” To demo this significance, he criticizes modernness of Persian and Western Modernity and defends the Persian modernness.

4-Integrative and intermediated position:

After holding a long and rich experience in the new epoch, some of Persian intellectuals has tried to acquire ruddy of the errors and restrictions of the above attacks. They are divided to two different poles, pro and anti Western civilisation and civilization. Hence, it is good to hold a position which are more cohesive position of modernness. The new positions have emphasized on incorporate position than additive position. Hence, many Persian intellectual have tried to do this position because of the new cultural and ideological state of affairs. Some of them merely tried and did do any part in this procedure.

Ali Shariati is one of the Persian societal minds which is successful. He has tried to acquire a new and cohesive position of modernness in Iran. This can be called as integrative and intermediated position ( Shariati, 1371/1992 ) . Shariati is symbol of Rebel against anything and supporting everything. He criticizes Muslim civilization, universe economic system, Western faith and civilization, Marxism, industrialisation procedure, traditionality, aˆ¦ and has defends international Islamic position. Shariati displays a contradiction visual aspect since, he believes Islam, Iran and West as the cause of retardation of Iran and Islam and believes Islam, history of Iran and relationship with the West as the attack to elate Iran. In this instance, his inquiry should be raised as: “ How our metamorphism occurred and how we could be saved? ” Shariati ‘s modernness is an ideological societal modernness that seeks equality of world on one manus and challenges development which is distinction and differentiations among people and groups on the other side. He has criticized Marxism, but he said that the economic factors are really of import to hold modern life because of Marxism. In this position, he says that the new scientific discipline is really of import for the society. But it has to come from the political orientation. Therefore, we can non unite these two contradictories side: scientific discipline as manner of life and the political orientation. Finally, Shariati makes his position on the new society and civilization based on different issues.

The Characteristics of Persian Modernity:

In footings o the above positions the Persian modernness could be recognized by its features and specifications. In continuance, some of its features and specifications are expressed:

The Persian modernness has a cultural to political and economic way. In another word, the chief duologues formed in it have been raised by literary work forces, poets, academicians, reverends, aˆ¦to politicians and contrivers.

While detecting historical and societal contradictions in Iran, the Persian modernness attempts to raise new contradictions as good. As an illustration, in general, Persian modernness discusses contradiction between faith and nationality, faith and scientific discipline, aˆ¦ In amount, attempts have been directed more towards acknowledgment and development of contradiction than seeking solution ( nevertheless, portion of blending minds such as Asadabadi, Shariati and Bazargan who try to happen a manner out of this contradiction is non ignored at all ) . On the other manus, many of the pro-modernity in Iran who involved in Persian modernness have raised new contradictions in this field. The illustrations could be found in raising the construct of epistemic separation, racial separation, aˆ¦

The Persian modernness is largely directed towards everyday life of people than general constructions. It is for this ground that the involvements of young persons, people, adult females, aˆ¦.could be traced in it more than anything.

The Persian modernness has non found a specific signifier. For this ground, there is no manner to pull out industry, economic system, civil technology and any other nonsubjective and experimental personal businesss out of it.

The Persian modernness is emotional, sensational and human-centered.

The Persian modernness is a mixture ( national and planetary ) phenomenan.


In discoursing on the construct of Persian modernness I have been depended on the undermentioned premise: any society in the modern-day universe has its ain manner of development and modernisation. It is non true that all of the societies follow the manner of development and modernisation which Western states have done. Each society can be developed based on its societal and cultural fortunes. Therefore, any society is somehow in some degrees of modernisation and hold its ain modernness.

There are common points which could be find by analyzing the positions and sentiments of most minds and intellectuals during about one hundred and 50 old ages of modern clip:

All of them have someway criticized tradition and defended it at the same clip.

While knocking west, all of them defend Western civilisation and civilization every bit good.

Although all of them have been against of Marixism, and capitalist economy, and idealist doctrine, but they have developed a modern ideal, mental and cultural universe.

All of them have some portions in developing a modern universe as Persian universe and are driven by its love.

The hereafter and fate of Persian modernness depends on the position of chief forces of Persian modernness and the fate of planetary modernness. It seems that due to its combination construction, the Iranian could set about a innovator function both in middle-east part and Islamic centuries and in this state of affairs, have a larger portion in forming planetary modernness. In another word, alternatively of being affected by planetary modernness, come in more interaction to it.

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