Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

State, Society and Labour: A Social History of Iranian Textile workers, 1906-1941

This research investigates everyday lives and workplace experiences of Iranian workers employed at textile industry, which was the second biggest industry after oil following the latter’s discovery in 1908.

Along with analysing recruitment policies as well workers’ ethnic, gender and age composition the study also focuses on the technological developments that took place during the period in order to show how they influenced production and labour relations. 

By doing this I intend to restore workers’ agency and to analyse state-society relations in Iran as projected through the lens of labour issues. Also, by focusing on the period between the inception of the constitutional regime in Iran in 1906 until the end of the authoritarian modernization era of Reza Shah in 1941 the research intends to demonstrate the complex yet more rooted ways through which workers negotiated, resisted or accommodated the new conditions. Despite employing such various sources as state archives, consular reports, printed-media, travelogues and memoirs this research is mainly based on the petitions sent by the workers to the parliament from its inauguration for the first time in 1906 until the end of the period.

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