Driving Culture in Iran: Law and Society on the Roads of the Islamic Republic

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Driving Culture in Iran: Law and Society on the Roads of the Islamic Republic. / Banakar, Reza.

I. B. Tauris, 2015. 304 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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TY - BOOK

T1 - Driving Culture in Iran: Law and Society on the Roads of the Islamic Republic

AU - Banakar, Reza

N1 - Iran has one of the highest rates of road traffic accidents worldwide and according to a recent UNICEF report, the current rate of road accidents in Iran is 20 times more than the world average. Using extensive interviews with a variety of Iranians from a range of backgrounds, this book explores their dangerous driving habits and the explanations for their disregard for traffic laws. It argues that Iranians’ driving behaviour is an indicator of how they have historically related to each other and to their society at large, and how they have maintained a form of social order through law, culture and religion. By considering how ordinary Iranians experience the traffic problem in their cities and how they describe traffic rules, laws, authorities and the rights of other citizens, Driving Culture in Iran provides an original and valuable insight into Iranian legal, social and political culture. This book is based on a research project which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in UK. The background research for this book was conducted in two consecutive stages in collaboration with Dr Shahrad Nasrolahi Fard during 2010, when a pilot study was carried out in Shiraz and Tehran, and in 2012, when the larger project funded by the ESRC was conducted in Tehran. Besides Reza Banakar and Dr Nasrolahi Fard, Dr Behnoosh Payvar and Ms Zara Saeidzadeh have been involved in this project. List of Contents 1. Introduction: What have Driving Habits to do with Law, Gender and Class Conflicts? (by Reza Banakar) Part One: The Study of Iranians’ Law, Culture and Driving Habits 2. Conducting Research in Iran (by Reza Banakar) 3. Estebdād: Pilot Study in Shiraz and Tehran (by Reza Banakar & Shahrad Nasrolahi Fard) 4. Farhang-Sazi: Interviews with Male Taxi Drivers (Reza Banakar & Shahrad Nasrolahi Fard) 5. Trust: Interviews with Lawyers (Reza Banakar) 6. Social Class: Interviews with Other Professionals (Reza Banakar) 7. Gender and Domination: Interviews with Female Taxi Drivers (Reza Banakar & Behnoosh Payvar) 8. Culture: Reflections on Individualism and Community (Reza Banakar & Zara Saeidzadeh) 9. Iranian Legal Culture: Law, Gender and Class Divisions (by Reza Banakar) Part Two: Supplementary Chapters 10. Reproduction of Meaning and Women’s Autonomy (Behnoosh Payvar) 11. The Iranian Legal System (Shahrad Nasrolahi Fard & Reza Banakar) 12. Appendix: The List of Interviews 13. Bibliography, News Items and Websites 14. Index

PY - 2015/12/20

Y1 - 2015/12/20

N2 - Iran has one of the highest rates of road traffic accidents worldwide and according to a recent UNICEF report, the current rate of road accidents in Iran is 20 times more than the world average. Using extensive interviews with a variety of Iranians from a range of backgrounds, this book explores their dangerous driving habits and the explanations for their disregard for traffic laws. It argues that Iranians’ driving behaviour is an indicator of how they have historically related to each other and to their society at large, and how they have maintained a form of social order through law, culture and religion. It is through interviews with taxi drivers, lawyers, insurance managers and medical doctors (who study road traffic injuries) that Driving Culture in Iran is able to examine how Iranians themselves understand the problems at large in culture, society and politics. Although the interviewees start by describing how they have experienced the traffic problem, their reflections on the causes of the problem lead them to talking about other topics such as ‘the lack of a driving culture’, the role of education, the nature of an excessive sense of individualism, and their hostile attitude to the authorities, whom they often do not trust. The image of the law which emerges out of the interviews is strikingly ordinary, ostensibly secular and rooted in customary practices, rather than in the fatwas of ayatollahs or the doctrinal pronouncements of Islamic jurists. By examining these reactions to driving culture and laws, Iranian society is therefore depicted as a social space where contrasting ideologies, forms of religious and political authority and personal and collective aspirations and beliefs clash on a daily basis to uphold a form of social order. And it is argued here that this social order is maintained partly by perpetuating class and gender conflicts.

AB - Iran has one of the highest rates of road traffic accidents worldwide and according to a recent UNICEF report, the current rate of road accidents in Iran is 20 times more than the world average. Using extensive interviews with a variety of Iranians from a range of backgrounds, this book explores their dangerous driving habits and the explanations for their disregard for traffic laws. It argues that Iranians’ driving behaviour is an indicator of how they have historically related to each other and to their society at large, and how they have maintained a form of social order through law, culture and religion. It is through interviews with taxi drivers, lawyers, insurance managers and medical doctors (who study road traffic injuries) that Driving Culture in Iran is able to examine how Iranians themselves understand the problems at large in culture, society and politics. Although the interviewees start by describing how they have experienced the traffic problem, their reflections on the causes of the problem lead them to talking about other topics such as ‘the lack of a driving culture’, the role of education, the nature of an excessive sense of individualism, and their hostile attitude to the authorities, whom they often do not trust. The image of the law which emerges out of the interviews is strikingly ordinary, ostensibly secular and rooted in customary practices, rather than in the fatwas of ayatollahs or the doctrinal pronouncements of Islamic jurists. By examining these reactions to driving culture and laws, Iranian society is therefore depicted as a social space where contrasting ideologies, forms of religious and political authority and personal and collective aspirations and beliefs clash on a daily basis to uphold a form of social order. And it is argued here that this social order is maintained partly by perpetuating class and gender conflicts.

KW - Iran

KW - law

KW - legal culture

KW - legal system

KW - legal profession

KW - modernity

KW - urf

KW - gender

KW - driving

KW - traffic

KW - automobile

KW - Islam

KW - Shari'a

KW - Shi'ism

KW - living law

KW - Mobility

UR - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00210862.2017.1287156

M3 - Book

SN - 9781784534486

BT - Driving Culture in Iran: Law and Society on the Roads of the Islamic Republic

PB - I. B. Tauris

ER -