Domesticity and Consumer Culture in Iran: Interior by Pamela Karimi

By Pamela Karimi

Examining Iran’s contemporary background during the double lens of domesticity and buyer tradition, Domesticity and customer tradition in Iran demonstrates major factor of the modernization strategy in Iran complex past political and public spheres.

On the cusp of Iran’s access into modernity, the foundations and tenets that had traditionally outlined the Iranian domestic begun to vanish and the inflow of recent family items progressively resulted in the mammoth actual growth of the household milieu. thus, architects, designers, and advertisement advertisers shifted their awareness from advertisement and public structure to the recent domestic and its contents. Domesticity and client tradition additionally turned themes of curiosity between politicians, Shiite spiritual students, and the Left, who communicated their respective perspectives through the preferred media and various different skill. in the intervening time, usual Iranian households, who have been in a position to selectively appropriating facets in their rapid atmosphere, confirmed their resistance towards the formally sanctioned differences. via examining a sequence of case stories that elucidate such phenomena and appraising quite a lot of gadgets and archival documents―from furniture, home equipment, architectural blueprints, and maps to images, movies, television sequence, novels, artistic endeavors, scrapbooks, work-logs, own letters and reports―this ebook highlights the importance of personal existence in social, fiscal, and political contexts of recent Iran.

Tackling the topic of domestic from quite a few views, Domesticity and customer tradition in Iran hence exhibits the interaction among neighborhood aspirations, overseas impacts, gender roles, buyer tradition and women’s schooling as they intersect with style, model, family structure and inside design.

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49 The Shah’s dual image as both a despotic ruler and a homebound royal husband established a meeting ground between his public and private lives. This union of extremes embodied in the persona of the Shah was deemed problematic, according to many contemporary commentators. Nonetheless, the Shah’s character alone could be thought of as a means through which the public/private dichotomy began to be diluted at the end of the nineteenth century. At the time when the boundaries of andarūn and bīrūn began to diminish slowly, gendered spatial identity became defined more and more through other 26 The hovel, the harem, and the hybrid furnishing means, such as taste in interior design and decoration.

In this sense, the male guest room becomes also a locus of restful calm. 87 The oleographs of European women are devoid of any actual referent; rather, they represent a generalized femininity. 88 Gender and the visual economy of household commodity culture The use of oleographs—a fully modern manufactured product in terms of lot size, quality, and effortless and endless reproducibility—became the means through which associations between gender and household consumption were cheaply and easily constructed.

Throughout, ideas of consumer culture and gender are at its core, but other important socio-political subjects are examined in order to view Iran’s modernization under the lens of its people’s private lives. While drawing on the aforementioned studies, this book seeks to explore how the modern home was shaped by Iranians’ wish to manifest their interests and cultural views. Although imported Western ideas and the decisions made by the state were certainly catalysts in the movement to bring Iran into step with up-todate and possibly beneficial technology in the home, Iranians were engaged, as active agents, in figuring out which aspects of contemporary Western home life actually worked for them and which did not.

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