The Imagery of Iranian National Identity

How to Cite

Abbasinejad, R. . (2019). The Imagery of Iranian National Identity: A Typology of Slogans During the Aftermath of the 2009 Presidential Election. Contingent Horizons: The York University Student Journal of Anthropology, 4(1), 1–15.


In this paper, I analyze the nation-building project that the Islamic Republic of Iran has produced and reproduced in the past four decades. I explore the political, social, and economic processes contributing to the (un)doing of identity projects, by investigating the 2009 protests following the Iranian presidential election and analyzing the slogans shouted from both sides of the conflict. I analyze these slogans, their words, metaphors, and meanings embedded in them to extract various aspects of national identity imagery, ideologies, and discourses in Iran. I argue that the narratives that emerged during the political protests of the 2009 Iranian Green movement demonstrate the formation of a plural national identity in Iran, which allows for the inclusion of more and more citizens. I contextualize my questions in the post-Islamic Revolution time period and specifically in the last decade (2009 to the present), because this period has undergone multiple civic movements. I contend that by placing the Iranian Green Movement under scrutiny various dimensions of contemporary national discussions in Iran can be exposed; notably anticolonial nationalism (fear of foreign domination), religious nationalism (Islamic and Shia), and civic nationalism.


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