Ethnic Loyalty in Iranian Society and its Effect on Democratization: A Study of Turkish, Kurdish, and Farsi Speakers

Behrang Seddiqi, Khalil Mirzaei, Manzar Aalinezhad


It is a common phenomenon to see ethnic and cultural plurality and heterogeneity in the political units of a society in today’s world. By living peacefully next to each other, the different ethnic groups and tribes in a society are able to establish major powerful institutions such as the national government and help shape a whole unit called national government or national identity. Given the multi-ethnic nature of the Iranian society and also in light of global changes, ethnography has become increasingly important in today’s world. The present study has focused on the theoretical and practical dimensions of ethnography and more specifically on the role of ethnic loyalty and prejudice as a transitional stage to reach democracy in Iran. The study has made use of statistics and data in analyzing three ethnic groups: Fars, Turks, and Kurds. The theoretical section, in addition to presenting a broad view on the issue at hand, uses a specifically practical framework based on theories of ethnic identity and democracy. The research population of the study includes Farsi speakers of Shiraz, Turkish (Azari) speakers of Tabriz, and Kurdish speakers of Sanandaj who have reached the voting age (18 years old). This included 201 Fars, 199 Turks, and 198 Kurds. The sample was chosen by using the clustering method proportionate to the research size. Having collected the needed information and extracted the data the following were used based on the theoretical framework and case studies of the study: Pearson correlation coefficient, F-test of independent groups, ANOVA analysis, and path analysis. The results of the study indicate a difference among the ethnic groups in their positive attitude toward democracy. Moreover, the results show the influence of media on ethnic identity and people’s tendency for democracy. Along with these variables, many other factors like social basis and national identity have influenced people’s tendency toward democracy – all in all 31% of the changes with regard to attitudes toward democracy is determined by these factors.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n4S1p332

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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