Masculinities in Urban Iran: Young Men in Contemporary Iranian Society

Men in Middle Eastern societies are often viewed by the popular Western media only in the context of religious fundamentalism and the subjugation of women. This new book shifts the discourse on gender, usually focused on women, to men in the Middle East, and to young men in Iranian society in particular - and in the process fills a crucial gap in our understanding. It illustrates that, contrary to common perceptions that Iranian men are 'tough', there is an acute desire among young men for women's approval and friendship, and to be recognised as sensitive and cosmopolitan. Mehri Honarbin-Holliday examines the conflicting factors and complexities involved in the formation of Iranian masculine identity, including the ideals of Persian cultural heritage, the pull of traditional familial and societal expectations, the memory of the 1979 revolution and its aspirations, and the pressures of being outwardly committed to Iran's political system.Linking male identity closely with Iranian politics, from the street fighters of the revolution to the 2009 street protests, the book demonstrates how today's Iranian youth, male as well as female, imagine a more equal future and a more dynamic civil society.