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Driving Culture in Iran: Law and Society on the Roads of the Islamic Republic

Banakar, Reza LU (2015)
Abstract
Iran has one of the highest rates of road traffic accidents worldwide and according to a recent UNICEF report, the current rate of road accidents in Iran is 20 times more than the world average. Using extensive interviews with a variety of Iranians from a range of backgrounds, this book explores their dangerous driving habits and the explanations for their disregard for traffic laws. It argues that Iranians’ driving behaviour is an indicator of how they have historically related to each other and to their society at large, and how they have maintained a form of social order through law, culture and religion.



It is through interviews with taxi drivers, lawyers, insurance managers and medical doctors (who study road... (More)
Iran has one of the highest rates of road traffic accidents worldwide and according to a recent UNICEF report, the current rate of road accidents in Iran is 20 times more than the world average. Using extensive interviews with a variety of Iranians from a range of backgrounds, this book explores their dangerous driving habits and the explanations for their disregard for traffic laws. It argues that Iranians’ driving behaviour is an indicator of how they have historically related to each other and to their society at large, and how they have maintained a form of social order through law, culture and religion.



It is through interviews with taxi drivers, lawyers, insurance managers and medical doctors (who study road traffic injuries) that Driving Culture in Iran is able to examine how Iranians themselves understand the problems at large in culture, society and politics. Although the interviewees start by describing how they have experienced the traffic problem, their reflections on the causes of the problem lead them to talking about other topics such as ‘the lack of a driving culture’, the role of education, the nature of an excessive sense of individualism, and their hostile attitude to the authorities, whom they often do not trust. The image of the law which emerges out of the interviews is strikingly ordinary, ostensibly secular and rooted in customary practices, rather than in the fatwas of ayatollahs or the doctrinal pronouncements of Islamic jurists. By examining these reactions to driving culture and laws, Iranian society is therefore depicted as a social space where contrasting ideologies, forms of religious and political authority and personal and collective aspirations and beliefs clash on a daily basis to uphold a form of social order. And it is argued here that this social order is maintained partly by perpetuating class and gender conflicts. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Book/Report
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Iran, law, legal culture, legal system, legal profession, modernity, urf, gender, driving, traffic, automobile, Islam, Shari'a, Shi'ism, living law, Mobility
pages
304 pages
publisher
I. B. Tauris
ISBN
9781784534486
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
09e9e566-dec1-4c2c-9d6b-05d7b6db35f8 (old id 5158376)
alternative location
http://www.ibtauris.com/Books/Society%20%20social%20sciences/Society%20%20culture%20general/Social%20groups/Religious%20groups%20social%20%20cultural%20aspects/Islamic%20studies/Driving%20Culture%20in%20Iran%20Law%20and%20Society%20on%20the%20Roads%20of%20the%20Islamic%20Republic.aspx?menuitem=%7B9FBE298D-9FCE-4C9A-A4FA-3C2B6D2D7D48%7D
date added to LUP
2015-03-20 10:45:00
date last changed
2016-05-26 10:55:04
@misc{09e9e566-dec1-4c2c-9d6b-05d7b6db35f8,
  abstract     = {Iran has one of the highest rates of road traffic accidents worldwide and according to a recent UNICEF report, the current rate of road accidents in Iran is 20 times more than the world average. Using extensive interviews with a variety of Iranians from a range of backgrounds, this book explores their dangerous driving habits and the explanations for their disregard for traffic laws. It argues that Iranians’ driving behaviour is an indicator of how they have historically related to each other and to their society at large, and how they have maintained a form of social order through law, culture and religion.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
It is through interviews with taxi drivers, lawyers, insurance managers and medical doctors (who study road traffic injuries) that Driving Culture in Iran is able to examine how Iranians themselves understand the problems at large in culture, society and politics. Although the interviewees start by describing how they have experienced the traffic problem, their reflections on the causes of the problem lead them to talking about other topics such as ‘the lack of a driving culture’, the role of education, the nature of an excessive sense of individualism, and their hostile attitude to the authorities, whom they often do not trust. The image of the law which emerges out of the interviews is strikingly ordinary, ostensibly secular and rooted in customary practices, rather than in the fatwas of ayatollahs or the doctrinal pronouncements of Islamic jurists. By examining these reactions to driving culture and laws, Iranian society is therefore depicted as a social space where contrasting ideologies, forms of religious and political authority and personal and collective aspirations and beliefs clash on a daily basis to uphold a form of social order. And it is argued here that this social order is maintained partly by perpetuating class and gender conflicts.},
  author       = {Banakar, Reza},
  isbn         = {9781784534486},
  keyword      = {Iran,law,legal culture,legal system,legal profession,modernity,urf,gender,driving,traffic,automobile,Islam,Shari'a,Shi'ism,living law,Mobility},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {304},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x97cef78)},
  title        = {Driving Culture in Iran: Law and Society on the Roads of the Islamic Republic},
  year         = {2015},
}