The Making of a New Society in Rural Iran

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Geographer, Senior research fellow, Center National de la Recherche Scientifique, Research team "Monde Iranien". Former director of the French Institute of Iranian Studies IFRI (Tehran 1978-1993). Research in social, political and cultural geography of Iran.

The Islamic revolution was done by city dwellers. But, during the three last decades the “Non revolutionary peasantry” (Abrahamian/Kazemi) has been deeply transformed in the shadow of the political and social change focused on cities. The national integration of the villages was strengthened by political struggle and organizations (Islamic land reform, Jahad-e sazandegi), by education, health policies, economic development and transportation facilities. Iran has now a new rural society and economy, but at the same time cultural and local identities did not vanish, and indeed do get sometimes stronger in this new context.
This paradoxical new geography of rural areas of Iran will be presented with original data analyzed at local scale (dehestan), pointing out the main problematic of a new rural society in the making. This paper will show the first maps of the Atlas of Rural Iran.

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