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Record identifier : 569799
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Schayegh, Cyrus
Title and statement of responsibility : Science, medicine, and class in the formation of semi-colonial Iran, 1900s--1940s [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Columbia University, 2004
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , Columbia University
Summary or Abstract : Drawing on the discipline of colonial science and medicine and on the historical sociology of class formation, this dissertation argues that science constituted a key discursive and practical framework for the formation of modern Iranian society. Part One illustrates how originally Western scientific knowledge was adapted to form the cultural and economic capital of an urban modern middle class. Utilizing its expert authority to define the very meaning of modernity, that class underlined its distinction from other strata, but simultaneously sought to level differences by reforming 'traditional' groups' life. Part Two contends that the modernists, in cooperation with the state, used bio-medical sciences to found an experimental medicalizing strategy that sought to tackle social problems, strengthen Iranians, and recast them into a united, fit, modern society. From the 1910s on, an Iranian modern middle class emerged at the interstices between a modernizing local society and colonial configurations of modern cultural capital centered on the use of modern science. It framed modern science as a base for its distinct higher modern education and 'mode of life', setting itself apart from local social groups and foreigners. However, cultural capital was not sufficient for class formation. It was only because a strong state administration, together with a growing urban population, boosted the public/private market for modern professions like medicine, nursing, law, pedagogy, engineering, that the modernists could transform their cultural into economic capital and stabilize their position. The modernists employed science for their interests but sought to reform society, too. Distinction and intervention, class formation and medicalization, evolved in unison. The latter tackled 'modern problems' head-on. Technology-driven transformation of a traditional mode of life interacted with neuro-physiology and psychiatry; demographics with hygiene, eugenics, genetics; the quest for national and individual willpower with psychology. Centered on health, these fields were meant to create a powerful modern society. Gearing the application of originally Western bio-medical sciences to Iranian contexts, they were distinctly local. Concomitantly, they also formed part of Western-dominated, global paradigms of socio-medical reform, suggesting that modernity emerged at shifting local/global interstices where 'Eastern' and 'Western' bourgeois modernist classes merged into a single, yet nonetheless hierarchically ordered space..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Middle Eastern history
: Science history
: Social structure
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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