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Coming of Age in IranPoverty and the Struggle for Dignity$
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Manata Hashemi

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479876334

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479876334.001.0001

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Be Good, Do Good

Be Good, Do Good

(p.120) 4 Be Good, Do Good
Coming of Age in Iran

Manata Hashemi

NYU Press

This chapter discusses the rise of public moral discourses surrounding the proper Islamic citizen. It describes how the Iranian cultural sphere has been defined and redefined to produce an image of the model young Muslim. It shows how these discourses have been co-opted by face-savers and their communities to give rise to prescriptions about what constitutes morally pure behavior. Since communities perceive such behavior as a manifestation of one’s inner virtuosity, families discipline face-savers to be hyper-vigilant in their conduct. Face-savers, too, are hyper-cautious in embodying certain moral practices and in working to hide any deviations from the norm. Primarily manifested through their sexual cleanliness, (non)use of substances, and fraternization with the “right” people, these public practices enable face-savers to differentiate themselves from morally impure others, gaining jobs and access to influential others in the process.

Keywords:   moral purity, moral pollution, sexual cleanliness, drug use, origins, socialties

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