In this book, I have argued that there are a number of important issues demanding further study and discussion within the burgeoning field of critical Iranian Studies. Even though the “ethnic commonsense” prevalent in general works on Iran is in many ways “nonsensical” or at least simplistic, ethnicity is nonetheless experienced as very real and important to significant segments of Iranian society. Ethnicity happens, so to speak—whether in the explicit shape of ethnically framed minority mobilization or in the less obvious shape of an ostensibly supra-ethnic notion of majority identity. In other words, scholars need to take ethnicity into consideration even when a given collective claims not to be “ethnic.”
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