GholamâKhiabanyâandâAnnabelleâSreberny ne of the well-recognized paradoxes of Iranian society is that while the âfat governmentâ of the Islamic Republic filters Internet access, Persian bloggers number in the hundreds of thousands, making Persian among the top five mo popular languages of the global blogosphere. It is yet another paradox of Iran that while formal politics is conrained and configured by specifically Islamic sentiments and government sensibilities, Iranian youth â among other social categories â are developing powerful and poetic political voices, analyzing national and international issues and public and private concerns in their blogs. These issues are not sily a function of the sudden availability of new technologies or the exience of a large youthful population under thirty years old (eimated at 70 percent of the total population), although these are both contextual realities. Rather, these issues speak to a fundamental problem of the definition of the âpolitical.â There exis a widespread perception of the Islamic Republic as a highly repressive ate in which there is little or no âpolitics,â this view itself being based on an overly crude diinction between repressive, undemocratic ates and democratic ates. However, we would argue that what is meant by the sphere of
Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2007
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