The making of the modern Iranian woman : gender, state policy, and popular culture, 1865-1946 /
Camron Michael Amin.
Gainesville, Fla. : University Press of Florida, 2002.
xii, 320 p. ; 23 cm.
0813024714 (cloth)
More Details
Gainesville, Fla. : University Press of Florida, 2002.
0813024714 (cloth)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [301]-312) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-04-01:
Until the Islamic Revolution of 1979, little was written on the history of the women's movement in Iran. Most of what was produced afterward remained descriptive and political, lacking adequate historical research or systematic examination of archives, documents, and official records. In one of the few works of new scholarship discussing the issue from theoretical, historical, and analytical perspectives, Amin (Univ. of Michigan) examines the Women's Awakening of 1936-41 in the context of events before and after this period and argues for the long-term effect of the Women's Awakening on subsequent debates. The book shows (1) the paradoxical nature of Reza Shah's unveiling as an extension of state power over women's bodies and a means of modernizing Iranian social relations; (2) the continuity of the last century's debate on women's status; (3) the close association of state legitimacy with the women's issue; (4) the transformation of concepts of modern Iranian woman and male guardianship; (5) the importance of the 1931 Marriage Laws in improving women's status; and (6) the positive effects of state sponsorship of women's projects for future developments. Despite a few shortcomings in translation and interpretation, the book serves as an excellent feminist historiography of Iran upon which further research must be built. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty. A. Mahdi Ohio Wesleyan University
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Choice, April 2003
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Bowker Data Service Summary
The Women's Awakening Project in late 1930s Iran under Reza Shah Pahlavi is the focus of this look at the emergence of the modern concept of womanhood in Iran. It aims to show the nature of the patriarchal obstacles in the way of women's emancipation.
Description for Bookstore
"Combining the best of archival research, oral history, and textual analysis, . . . Amin's text offers new avenues of inquiry into the relationship between modern states and the lives of their female citizens."--Lisa Pollard, University of North Carolina, Wilmington "An imaginative and well-documented study of the development of modern Iranian womanhood [that] demonstrates the developing nature of the patriarchal obstacles in the way of women's emancipation as much as it reveals the dynamism and complexity of the Women's Awakening. "--Fatemeh Keshavarz, Washington University The Women's Awakening Project in late 1930s Iran under Reza Shah Pahlavi is the focus of this historical look at the emergence of the modern concept of womanhood in Iran. Amin's extensive research confirms that Reza Shah's controversial attempt to forcibly westernize Iranian women, and not the pre-revolutionary 1970's, marked the turning point for "the woman question" in Iran. Drawing on a combination of archival data, oral history, diplomatic sources, and contemporary press reports, Amin's is the first book to explore the Women's Awakening Project in such detail. By illustrating Reza Shah's efforts both to emancipate and to control Iranian women, the book raises new questions about the relationship between the Iranian state and its female citizens. Amin breaks new ground in the study of Iranian history by examining the links between state policy, popular culture, and individual memory. This highly readable book also provides crucial background for understanding the current debate between "hardliners" and "reformers" in Iran. Camron Michael Amin, assistant professor of Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, is the director of the Modern Middle East Source Project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations and Tables
The "Women's Awakening" Reconsideredp. 1
Tradition and Renewalp. 16
Imagining the Modern Iranian Womanp. 48
Unveiling and Its Discontentsp. 80
Renewal's Bridep. 114
The Capable Womanp. 142
The Limits of Emancipationp. 189
Breaking with Male Guardianshipp. 215
The Legacy of the Women's Awakeningp. 246
Notesp. 255
Bibliographyp. 301
Indexp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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