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Iranian National Identity in the Context of Globalization: dialogue or resistance?

S Zahed

CSGR Working Paper No. 162/05

People in the local areas varyingly but usually are willing to keep their cultural distinction from other cultures in further geographical areas. National collective identity is a broad title for personality of each nation which identifies that nation from others. Identity is a matter of change through the time and there are different types of identities. Globalization introduces new cultural aspects to the local ones some of them altering the local identity. In other words there is a challenge between cultural globalization and local identities. There are three main policies toward globalization: selection, adaptation and rejection. Each society decides which policy or a particular combination of these policies to be applied in it. Iranian national identity in last 150 years had great cultural challenges moving among three main cultural spheres: Persian, Islamic and modern. There were different social movements the last one Islamic revolution because of these challenges. This paper reviewing the contemporary history of Iran will conclude the on going policy which is standing on Persian aspects and moving on a continuum between two points of adaptation and selection of modern parts with the main tendency toward selection or glocalization. The means of decision making for them is Islamic ideology.

Keywords: Persia, cultural globalisation, national identity, modernity, glocalisation.