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The Double Life of Nika: A Story of the Generation Z in the 2022 Revolutionary Movement in Iran

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Feb 21, 2023   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
Mahbubeh Moqadam, PhD Student in Sociology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
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CSAMES events

In the literature written about the youth in social movements, there are different points of view in describing, analyzing, or interpreting what they do during the uprisings, social movements, and revolutions. Currently, several texts have been produced on the same topic about the participation of young people in the current revolutionary movement in Iran. Although reading these texts is instructive, they are mostly focused on the youth's influence on the movement, not on why they have been so active in this movement. This view, although enlightening, lacks a multi-layered sociological analytical dimension and does not address the importance of "the youth politics" rather than "the youth in politics." This article seeks to understand the sociohistorical reasons the youth have for joining- if not leading- the current movement in Iran. Digging into a page on Instagram and tracing it to other social media platforms and also some other available resources, I develop an argument that in the current movement, generation Z wants to extend its life on unreal digital lands” to its real homeland, which might be useful to analyze the incredible presence of young people in the ongoing social movement in Iran.  

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