SOAS University of London

Centre for Media Studies, School of Arts

Mahdi Khoei

BA (University of Tehran) MA (University of Sussex)
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Mahdi Khoei
Mahdi Khoei
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Thesis title:
The Articulation of Hegemonic Power through Television: Islamic Republic's Discourses Regarding Iranian Everyday Life
Year of Study:
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PhD Research

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s discourse has been articulated differently throughout various periods of its history. After the presidential election of 2009, this discourse was confronted by a crisis brought its hegemony into question. The claim of electoral fraud by the predominantly middle class residents of Tehran produced the “Green Movement”—with unprecedented protests and subsequent repression. Despite the repression, the Islamic Republic’s discourse also needed to form a kind of subjectivity among the middle class in order to remain hegemonic. The middle class in Tehran has always played a significant role in major social and political changes in contemporary Iranian history. Therefore, forming the subjectivity of the middle class secures the Islamic Republic’s discourse from losing its hegemony. Since 1979, Iranian state television has always represented the preferred meanings and ideal subject positions of the Islamic Republic’s discourse. Therefore, studying the representations of this apparatus reveals the articulation of the Islamic Republic’s discourse regarding different aspects of everyday life. Using the method of discourse analysis offered by Laclau and Mouffe, this research sets out to explore if the Islamic Republic’s discourse is the hegemonic discourse in forming the subjectivity of the Tehranian middle class after confronting a dislocation in 2009. The preferred meanings and ideal subject positions of this discourse were explored by studying three of the most popular television series in the four years following the events of 2009. The hegemonic appropriation of these meanings has been examined through conducting interviews with middle class residents of Tehran. Brining these two elements together, the research demonstrates that the Islamic Republic’s discourse has constructed a depoliticised subjectivity among this class that not only prevents the discourse from being dis-articulated, but also can advance its desired articulation within various realms of the middle class’s everyday life.