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The Role of Modern Audio-Visual Media in the Construction of Iranian National Identity

Abbasian, Kaveh (2021) The Role of Modern Audio-Visual Media in the Construction of Iranian National Identity. The Role of Modern Audio-Visual Media in the Construction of Iranian National Identity, 1 . pp. 29-52. ISSN 2748-5641. (KAR id:88883)

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This paper sheds light on a less explored aspect of the modern construction of Iranian national identity. It investigates the role of modern audio-visual media including cinema, radio and television in this modern construction. Although the study of Iranian national identity has developed well beyond the orthodox romantic nationalist approach dominant during the 20th century, not enough attention has been given to the study of modern audio-visual media. While the printing press had an important role in the construction of what Benedict Anderson calls an ‘imagined community’ of Iranians, it was the emergence of cinema, radio and television that crucially contributed to the spread of the Persian language as the national language of Iranians. I also argue that these media were essential in the propagation of the nationalist ideology of the Pahlavi dynasty. Another widely overlooked area in Iranian media studies is the importance of the 1979 Revolution in further popularization of audio-visual media. I investigate recently published data from research conducted in 1974 in order to show that despite the availability of these media, many Iranians refrained from using them, mainly due to religious reasons. The 1979 Revolution and the subsequent Islamization of the audio-visual media, however, changed this dynamic and accelerated the popularization of these media even among the hardliner religious population. This contributed to further construction of an Iranian national identity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Iranian national identity, nationalism, audio-visual media, cinema, radio, television, Pahlavi dynasty, the Islamic Republic, the Iranian Revolution, 20th century
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Kaveh Abbasian
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2021 20:04 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 21:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Abbasian, Kaveh:
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