Theses Doctoral

Iranian Encounters in Azerbaijan: The Case of Nardaran

Karasioglu, Isa Kagan

This dissertation is based on the study that has been conducted in the form of an ethnographic field research in Nardaran, an ancient Azeri village of Absheron peninsula, Baku, Azerbaijan. As a result of many historical and political reasons it can be argued that the two nation states, Azerbaijan and Iran, have not been overly friendly throughout the history. However, interestingly enough, Nardarani villagers, unlike the broader Azeri society, are tightly linked to Iran. Therefore, the primary goal of this dissertation is to investigate the prominent reasons, which rendered these villagers Iranian proponents. By adopting the concept of ‘hegemony’ as primary theoretical approach, the dissertation primarily investigates the hegemonic efforts of Iran upon Nardaran to account for the current situation and the future of the village. After looking at the broader Azerbaijan and the rural communities of the region and providing a selective historical sketch, it is the aim of the study to provide the reader with the opportunity to make comparisons and to locate Nardaran within the broader picture. In what follows, it presents the Iranian hegemonic consequences upon the village and seeks to identify the implications of the concept of change over Nardaran. Finally, the study investigates the underlying reasons and the processes that led to the aferomentioned situation under the title of ‘hegemony and peaceful mechanisms of change’. Since the study is the only anthropological one that specifically handles Nardaran, the researcher tried to conduct the research in the form of an anthropological community study. Accordingly, the dissertation attempts to take an overall picture of the village. This manner, namely adopting a holistic approach, was not only useful but also necessary in terms of answering the research questions. In other words, looking at the history, geography, economy, material culture, environmental design and so forth, seem to be essential in terms of understanding the case of Nardaran.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Anthropology
Thesis Advisors
Comitas, Lambros
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 17, 2016