Horizon of Ethnic Expectation

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  • Title: Horizon of Ethnic Expectation: An Anthropological Study of Ethnic Identity among the Gilak Ethnic Group in Northern Iran
  • Author(s): Somayeh Karimi, Alireza Hassanzadeh
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies
  • Keywords: Ethnic Identity, Ethnic Experience, Horizon of Expectation, Gilak Ethnic Group
  • Volume: 16
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-0055 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2376 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0055/CGP/v16i02/1-13
  • Citation: Karimi, Somayeh , and Alireza Hassanzadeh. 2018. "Horizon of Ethnic Expectation: An Anthropological Study of Ethnic Identity among the Gilak Ethnic Group in Northern Iran." The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies 16 (2): 1-13. doi:10.18848/2327-0055/CGP/v16i02/1-13.
  • Extent: 13 pages

Abstract

One of the factors that shapes individual and collective identity is experience. Members of an ethnic group are involved in different forms of ethnic experience in daily life. These experiences are mainly defined and redefined by the dominant norms and values of a society, ethnic intellectuals, and the media. In Iran, the ideological confrontation and clash between the ethnic culture of the first and second Pahlavi dynasties (1926–1979) culminated in rising sensitivity about folk/ethnic art. However, after the Revolution, the war with Iraq imposed by Saddam Hussein, together with a monological discourse of ideology, led to backwardness of ethnic art originating in rural areas compared to the modernity of urban art in Gilan province. In Gilan, a contradiction exists between ethnic elites and commoners in their perceptions of ethnic identity. While ethnic intellectuals overemphasize a textual form of ethnic identity and invented ethnic traditions and rituals, the common people disregard these forms in favor of lived experience. This article seeks to open a new field of discussion under the lens of the idea of the horizon of ethnic expectation.