Ronak Karami


The 1979 Revolution in Iran exploded aggressively because of the pressures that the Shah enforced on Iranian society; however, similar to the Shah, the Islamic regime imposed strict rules and regulations on Iranians in different ways to control society (especially women) via Islamic values. Hoping to create an obedient society, the state focused on educating children and youngsters on the ideologies of the 1979 Revolution. It emphasized gender discrimination in order to create a new generation who would follow the traditional model of mother-at-home and father-at-work because it needed women inside the house who can give birth and raise their children (especially boys) with revolutionary ideologies and men outside the house who will fight for the nation when necessary. This essay focuses on the social sciences textbook that was taught in third grade primary school classrooms in Iran for three decades, from 1983 to 2013. Written by Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, the textbook tells the story of an Iranian family who has to leave their town, Kazeroun, to live in the eastern town of Iran, Neishabour, because the father has been transferred by his office. This article aims to demonstrate how gender was supposed to be practiced in an Iranian family during these three decades based on the ideology of the 1979 Revolution. To do so, the paper studies the way social sciences in primary schools defined family, childhood, motherhood, and fatherhood for children through the revolutionary values. Moreover, it breaks down the ideological codes of the time about family dynamics that have been represented to the children through pictures and stories. As a result, the values of the 1979 Revolution that construct an ideal family would be elaborated to help the audience identify and clarify some of the most significant ideological issues that are still being taught to Iranian students today.

Author Biography

Ronak Karami is an Iranian researcher who is interested in women and gender studies. She recieved her B.A in English Literature from university of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran. She had started her postgraduate study right after with the Science and Research faculty, Tehran, Iran; however, she withdrew as a result Iran's educational system deficiency; more is explained in her autobiographical essay in this issue of the JIWS.