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Mary Elaine Hegland
President and Board of Trustees of Santa Clara College (Santa Clara, CA 95053-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2012 – 8/31/2012

The History of Secular Politics in an Iranian Village, 1900 - 2012

During the 1979 Iranian Revolution, local culture and politics influenced national events. Rather than an elite reformulation of Shi'a Islam into revolutionary meaning, "Aliabad" villagers relied on secular folk political culture and pragmatic methods to evaluate the revolutionary conflict. Their desire for safety and justice, expectations of leaders, and understandings of political process developed through earlier kinship-based political conflict guided their decision-making. Only after they had switched to the dissidents' side did most villagers turn to the Shi'a Muslim revolutionary framework. The book follows processes of change in Aliabad from early 1900s through 2008, examining how education, employment structure, higher living standards, modernization and globalization have led to more individuation, egalitarian relationships, secularization, and political education, preparing the way for villagers' expectations to influence their own lives and the national political process.