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An Anthology of 'the People', Place, Space and 'Home': (Re)constructing the Lur in South-Western Iran

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'Home' is looked at in this paper as a space organized by a constituency whose prime function is to sustain the on-going displacement of the national onto the local. The space is regulated by rules whose temporal nature defines it in terms of destinations- sacred or profane. From graveyard to pilgrimage site, from school to work-place, space at 'home' is plotted as destinations im plying departures and arrivals. It is examined here how the recruitment of this mode of organization of space within the framework of a nation-state entails the mobilization of a constituency which matches the national space. This mobilization requires the supersession of locally bounded places in order to organize them within an imagined, co-ordinated space where time is emptied of its local contents. It is in this space that the 'home' ethnographer seeks authority for the com petence of his technical discourse in order to make possible his 'secular pilgrimage' the characteristic feature of national home. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in post-Revolutionary Iran I demonstrate the mediation of a recently mobilized constituency- 'the people'- in the transform ation of competence into authority. Thus, it is argued, far from a place where one shares a set of rules 'home' is the site of hegemonic construction of these rules.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1996

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