SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Mina, Nima (2007) Blogs, Cyber-Literature and Virtual Culture in Iran. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany: George C. Marshall Center European Center for Security Studies.

Text - Published Version
Download (408kB) | Preview


The beginning of the internet era has created new possibilities for the Iranian civil society to circumvent the government imposed total control on the established media and to participate in an emerging independent virtual information society. The spectacular growth of Persian blogs since the summer of 2001 is an indication of the Iranian society's urgent need for alternative means of free expression. The Islamic Republic's conservative factions initiated the creation and expansion of the country's internet infrastracture since 1989. Paradoxically, the same forces have constantly tried to restrict free internet access by imposing severe filtering policies and pursuing dissident internet authors. This ambivalence in the development and socio-political function of the internet in Iran becomes apparent when one closely examines the history of the digitization of the holy city of Qom since Ai Khamenei took over as the country's supreme leader, succeeding Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989. Five case studies on the digital newspaper ROOZ, the online radio station Zamaneh, the web publishing activities of the exiled journlist Ebrahim Nabavi and the exiled writers Reza Ghassemi and Mahshid Amirshahi illustrate how the internet has created new possibilities for the Iranian diaspora communities to re-establish a communication link between exiled dissident intellectuals and their potential readers and recipients in and outside side the country. The final part of the paper deals with the phenomenon of Persian blogs as a means of mass communication for the young population of Iran at large. One peculiarity of Persian blogs can be observed in the use of a new Persian sociolect of weblog (and chatroom) communication. The use of this sociolect reflects an effort by the younger generation of Iranians to redinfe their identities and distance themselves from the burdon of a traditional (religious) culture that they wish to defy.

Item Type: Monographs and Working Papers (Occasional Paper)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
ISBN: 18636039
Date Deposited: 29 May 2008 15:24
Related URLs: https://www.mar ... mcpublicweb/en/ (Publisher URL)

Altmetric Data

There is no Altmetric data currently associated with this item.


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item