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Rational-Emotional ‘Divorce’ In Iran

March 8, 2014

14.03.08 Woman turning awayInternational Women’s Day is a good time to report the paper my fellow sociologists in Tehran, Iranian academics Meysam Haddadi Barzoki and Mohhamad Tavakoll, and I have just published (March 2014). Meysam and I liaised on this work via the e-ether for quite a while; through our exchanges I learnt about a society very different from mine. (Iranian women’s fathers become only ‘stepfather’ when their daughters marry.)  I hope our paper shines light on some important issues for others too. The abstract and full link follow:

Abstract
This study investigates emotional divorce in marriage in everyday life in Iran from a female perspective. Many studies have been conducted on divorce but there is vacuum in the field of emotional divorce in regard to how it is defined and which research methodologies are most appropriate.

This study aims to understand the participant’s construct of emotional divorce as well as its mechanism and causes, using grounded theory to achieve a deep and holistic understanding of the issues. Analytic induction and theoretical saturation were the criteria for selecting 22 women with severe marital dissatisfaction, as subjects for the research.

One of the core ideas considered is that emotional divorce increases when formal, legal divorce is difficult to obtain.  Findings cover four fields including:
(1) social contexts such as patriarchy, the presence of stepfathers, and female passivity;
(2) intensifying factors such as men’s sex vs. women’s love and the presence of a rival wife;
(3) unequal exchange and
(4) the sense of inequality, rational divorce and finally emotional divorce itself.

Our research findings show the occurrence of ‘emotional divorce’ often arises from rational calculation. Unequal exchange results in the sense of inequality as the main cause of emotional divorce.

The full paper, which includes compelling and sometimes heart-wrenching first person accounts, is available here: Rational-Emotional ‘Divorce’ in Iran

Meysam Haddadi Barzoki, Mohhamad Tavakoll, Hilary Burrage
Applied Research in Quality of Life
March 2014

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Toby permalink
    March 8, 2014 09:37

    Reblogged this on Speaker's Corner.

  2. Jason Cooper permalink
    March 25, 2014 17:48

    There ought to be a push this year for women to demand that the secret war on their humanity be put to an end. I am horrified by the treatment of women in this world. I am a kind man but it makes me ashamed to be male. Good luck, I will do all I can to make this a better world, where every girl and woman can walk safely with dignity. All my love, JC

    • March 25, 2014 21:11

      Thank you Jason. It’s incredibly important that men as well as women demand fairness and decency for all human beings. Your kind comments are much appreciated.

  3. December 5, 2014 23:17

    I have often wondered whether some of the problems described in the paper above were due to female genital mutilation (FGM). This report, dated 4 December 2014, suggests that FGM may indeed be a significant factor in the issues discussed: http://www.stopfgmmideast.org/fgm-in-iran-blade-of-islam-or-patriarchal-custom-in-interview-with-scholars-activists-and-survivors/

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