Remaking Nature in Iran: Environmentalism, Science, and the Nation

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/311450
Title:
Remaking Nature in Iran: Environmentalism, Science, and the Nation
Author:
Abe, Satoshi
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In the last 30 years, Iran has experienced mounting environmental problems, such as air and water pollution, that are perceived as in need of redress. In order to address and confront these problems, Iran has recently adopted the language and framework of ecological science. Subsequently, the prestige of science in the country has been growing through extensive applications of ecological science at various levels of Iranian society. Viewing this development as a socio-cultural process of modernity in Iran, this dissertation addresses two major issues: First, it investigates the discursive historical conditions of Iran in which modern science, including ecological science, has been developed and practiced since the nineteenth century. Second, it explores the cultural dimensions of environmentalism in Iran through examining its reception by Iranian environmentalists, researchers, and non-expert citizens in Tehran and their attitudes toward it. The analyses of the genealogies of science in Iran show that modern science has provided Iranians with a conceptual framework through which to govern the objects that state authorities, with accuracy and efficiency, wish to identify, analyze, and organize. I argue that the "population" has been a prominent object in the governance of Iran in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and that, more recently, "the environment" has become such an object. Scientific knowledge and management have played a vital role in establishing these mechanisms of governance, thereby the status of science is kept intact in Iran. Drawing on thirteen months of fieldwork in Tehran, I also examine the recent development of environmentalism in urban Iran through changing conceptions of "nature." With Iran's utilization of ecological science, a new conception of nature is recently introduced to society: a scientific formulation of nature. I demonstrate how this notion of nature has become influential along with growing environmental discourses in Iran, and yet, argue that another conception of nature--relating to Iranian nationhood--also makes a key contribution to Iranian environmentalism. In particular, I engage the anthropological perspectives of "materiality" and "heteroglossia" to highlight this point.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Iran; Nationhood; Nature; Science; Anthropology; Environmentalism
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Anthropology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Silverstein, Brian; Park, Thomas K.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleRemaking Nature in Iran: Environmentalism, Science, and the Nationen_US
dc.creatorAbe, Satoshien_US
dc.contributor.authorAbe, Satoshien_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn the last 30 years, Iran has experienced mounting environmental problems, such as air and water pollution, that are perceived as in need of redress. In order to address and confront these problems, Iran has recently adopted the language and framework of ecological science. Subsequently, the prestige of science in the country has been growing through extensive applications of ecological science at various levels of Iranian society. Viewing this development as a socio-cultural process of modernity in Iran, this dissertation addresses two major issues: First, it investigates the discursive historical conditions of Iran in which modern science, including ecological science, has been developed and practiced since the nineteenth century. Second, it explores the cultural dimensions of environmentalism in Iran through examining its reception by Iranian environmentalists, researchers, and non-expert citizens in Tehran and their attitudes toward it. The analyses of the genealogies of science in Iran show that modern science has provided Iranians with a conceptual framework through which to govern the objects that state authorities, with accuracy and efficiency, wish to identify, analyze, and organize. I argue that the "population" has been a prominent object in the governance of Iran in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and that, more recently, "the environment" has become such an object. Scientific knowledge and management have played a vital role in establishing these mechanisms of governance, thereby the status of science is kept intact in Iran. Drawing on thirteen months of fieldwork in Tehran, I also examine the recent development of environmentalism in urban Iran through changing conceptions of "nature." With Iran's utilization of ecological science, a new conception of nature is recently introduced to society: a scientific formulation of nature. I demonstrate how this notion of nature has become influential along with growing environmental discourses in Iran, and yet, argue that another conception of nature--relating to Iranian nationhood--also makes a key contribution to Iranian environmentalism. In particular, I engage the anthropological perspectives of "materiality" and "heteroglossia" to highlight this point.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectIranen_US
dc.subjectNationhooden_US
dc.subjectNatureen_US
dc.subjectScienceen_US
dc.subjectAnthropologyen_US
dc.subjectEnvironmentalismen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSilverstein, Brianen_US
dc.contributor.advisorPark, Thomas K.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSilverstein, Brianen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPark, Thomas K.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBetteridge, Anne H.en_US
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