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Dissertation

The Social History of Labor in the Iranian Oil Industry

This dissertation studies the formation of the wage laboring class in the Iranian oil industry during the first decades of the 20th century.

Author
Kaveh Ehsani
Date
02 October 2014
Links
Full text available in Leiden University Repository

The formation of the wage laboring class in the Iranian oil industry during the first decades of the 20th century is studied as a tangled global-local social history. The analysis seeks to situate the oil complex in Iran within the interlinked contexts of the global transformations of World War One, the social and political-economic tumults of the interwar period, the changing geopolitics of the Persian Gulf and Anglo Iranian relations, the consequences of the 1921 coup d’état in Iran, the local transformations of the oil rich province of Khuzestan, and the urban histories of the oil mining town of Masjed Soleyman and especially the refinery and port city of Abadan.

As petroleum was becoming the primary raw material of Fordism and the second industrial revolution the accumulation of capital in oil required the dismantling of existing social structures and the reassembly of resources, technical expertise, and populations in modern built environments designed for oil capitalism. The urban social history of these oil cities shed light on the contentious processes that led to the making of an industrial oil working class, as well as the formation of modern state institutions in Iran, and the Anglo Persian Oil Company

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