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Vehicle Writings in an Iranian Context: The Interplay of Habitus and Field

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Mostafa Hasrati
Affiliation:
Department of English Language and Linguistics at Razi University of Kermanshah in Iran
Brian Street
Affiliation:
King's College London, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Saba Habibi
Affiliation:
Department of English Language and Linguistics at Razi University of Kermanshah in Iran

Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to problematize writings on vehicles in an Iranian context. Previous studies have indicated that vehicle stickers can be employed to express emotions and social status, political views, ideology and identity, and religious beliefs. However, very little has been done on this discursive practice in Iran. This study is the result of the content analysis of 122 vehicle writings collected from April 2011 to March 2012. This paper will draw on six of the most frequent themes: religion, humor, playing pessimism, didactic expressions, ethnic-geographic identification, and love. Employing Bourdieu's conceptual frameworks of “habitus,” “field,” and “doxa,” and Heath and Street's social practice perspective on literacy, it will be argued that vehicle writings in this study can be regarded as situated literacy practices reflecting the dominant undisputed discourses in the context, but at the same time displaying the dynamic interplay of power relations, the relationship of cultural structures and individual customized versions of those structures in vehicle writings.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Society for Iranian Studies 2014

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Footnotes

The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewer for their invaluable comments on an earlier version of this paper. They would also like to thank Negar Hasrati for kindly preparing the sketches used in this paper. Any shortcoming will remain the authors'.

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