Quality & Quantity

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 1907–1928 | Cite as

Lifestyle and identity in contemporary Iranian Kurdistan (a grounded study of Marivan City)



Iranian Kurdistan has experienced profound sociocultural changes over the last decade. Some of the changes follow the governing pattern of changes in Iranian society while the main body of the changes is consequence of unique situation and condition of Iranian Kurdistan. Therefore, the present article is to study lifestyle changes, formation of modern identities, and their consequences in Marivan with regard to identifying influential local conditions and processes through qualitative perspective and ethnographic methodology. The data were gathered through participant observation and unstructured interviews. Based on theoretical saturation criterion 53 cases were interviewed. The collected data were categorized, analyzed, and documented into several major and fundamental themes through grounded theory method. “Structural challenges”, “expansion of trans-regional interactions”, “rapid and uneven development of border trade”, “communication media”, “visual resources”, and “contradictions of development” were categorized as “conditions”. “Transformation of identification resources”, “multiplicity of consumption motivation”, “flamboyance of upstart class”, “body recycling”, “modern leisure pursuits”, and “emancipatory politics” were identified as “interaction” and finally “value changes and reversal”, “identity conflicts”, and “mind–body disorders” were realized as consequences. The results indicate increasing prevalence of changes in different aspects of lifestyle and identity of the participants which in lots of cases are in comprehensive and fundamental contradiction to traditional and common cultural of Marivan.


Lifestyle Modern identity formation Border trade Grounded theory Iranian Kurdista Marivan City 



We warmly appreciate Professor Norbert Otto Ross at Dept. of Anthropology of Vanderbilt University for his constructive and informative comments on the final version of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.TehranIran

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