MCA 601: IranAdam YogelAlina YurovaNicolette Williams
GERENERAL FACTS• Iran is a part of the Middle East region (Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen)• Capital: Tehran• Population: 74,798,599• Area: 636,313 sq miles• Language: Persian (but about 15 languages are also spoken in the country)• Religion: Islam (98%)• Irans female literacy rate is 73 percent; male literacy rate is 86 percent• Unemployment rate: 16 %. Only 10 % of Irans women are part of the workforce• Government: Unitary state, Islamic Republic• A total of 85 newspapers have been shut down in Iran since April 2000
HIGH CONTACT VS. LOW CONTACT• Members of the opposite sex keep a considerable amount of distance between them in public places, especially if they are not married.• There is no touching of the opposite sex.• Touching between family members of the opposite sexes is also rare.• Those who are less religious, will shake hands and/or even kiss on the cheek between family members including members of the opposite sex. However, this only takes place in private settings, where as in public places even less religious Iranians will refrain from any kind of touching.• Religious Iranians create many personal boundaries in private and in public. For example, even a hand shake is considered inappropriate between a man and a woman.
HIGH CONTEXT VS. LOW CONTEXT Iran is a high context culture• There is no direct communication. Many Iranians have trouble even using the word “No.”• Communication requires creative speaking and listening techniques.• For example, if an Iranian person is annoyed with you, they will not tell you directly, but rather let you know in a round about way. COLLECTIVISM VS. INDIVIDUALISM Iran is primarily a collectivist culture• Government functions to supply work and all essential needs to its citizens.• Family life is highly collective. Families have deep roots in old Iranian culture.• A more individualist attitude in the workplace is applied because formal work settings are a relatively new institution.• Iranian students posses a highly collectivist attitude.• No significant differences exist between genders when considering these collectivist
CONVERSATIONAL STYLE• Communication tends to be relatively indirect and relies heavily on nonverbal cues and figurative forms of speech.• Voice tonality changes while conversing and different body language gestures accompanies every situation. Universal body language gestures do apply as well.• Respecting an individual’s honor and saving face are key drivers in the indirect communication style that is prevalent in Iran (directly refusing a proposal, for example, may be interpreted as impoliteness).• Iranian people tend to use a closer physical proximity when communicating than Westerners. Though you may not be comfortable with this close distance, it can be perceived as impolite if you back up.
USE OF TIME• Flexible and relaxed attitude towards time; do not always start or finish at the scheduled time.• Relaxed approach to start meetings (the first part of it will be socializing and no business on the agenda will get discussed anyways)• People take a sincere interest in others and spend a lot of time getting to know each other. They tend to mix their business and personal life and therefore use personal relationships to further business interests.• When making business appointments, consider daily prayers.• People in Iran tend to be excellent bargainers and will take the time to find the best deal.
GENDER ROLES• There is a rich and complex history of gender roles and social customs deeply embedded in Iranian cultures.• Before the Revolution, the people of Iran practiced segregation of the sexes in public. Women generally wore the chador (or veil) when in public or when in the presence of males.• In the traditional Iranian society, women were confined to the home, where they performed various domestic duties like cooking, cleaning and raising the children. The men were able to work in public places like factories, offices and local stores.• During the Pahlavi era (1925-1979) the government and society began to change their views toward the segregation of males and females in public.• After the revolution, the status of women changed; women began entering the workforce.
SOCIAL CUSTOMS• Family is most important and the bond between parents and children are often unbreakable.• Iranian Holiday: No Rooz (Iranian New Year) is a festival which celebrates the birth of nature - this is the most celebrated holiday. Ramadan is celebrated using the lunar calendar. It is a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset to observe Allah.• Men’s Attire: Iranian men avoid wearing short sleeved shirts and shorts are definitely not allowed in public.• Women’s Attire: Women are expected to cover themselves appropriately at all times. They are allowed to show their face, hands and toes.• Work: The work week tends to begin on Sunday and end on Thursday. Friday is the Muslim holy day and considered part of the weekend. Businesses are usually open to the public in the morning hours only.
SOURCES1. Ansari S., Martin V. (2001). Women, Religion and Culture In Iran. Routlege2.http://www.uib.no/psyfa/isp/diversity/content/reseach/multicultur/Workshop/Sharhnaz%20Mortazavi.pdf3. http://www.culturecrossing.net/basics_business_student_details.php?Id=9&CID=984. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA4984685. http://www.vayama.com/etiquette/iran/6. http://www.communicaid.com/access/pdf/library/culture/doing-business-in/Doing%20Business%20in%20the%20Middle%20East.pdf7. http://www.stateofnature.org/womenAndWork.html8. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/293359/Iran/230063/Daily-life-and-social-customs9. http://womenshistory.about.com/library/ency/blwh_iran.htm10.http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+ir0070)