“The Disinherited”: Migration, Survival, and the Underclass in Tehran (1950-1980)

In early spring of 1979, after the exile of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and amidst the rule of the Provisional Government, Iranians from a diverse set of backgrounds rejoiced in the streets of Tehran and other major cities as voices on the Tehran radio and around the world reported their victory.[1]

The April 1st referendum had yet to establish the Islamic Republic of Iran and mark the official recognition of a successful revolution, yet the end of the Pahlavi dynasty represented a significant achievement in the eyes of many. This period was, nonetheless, marked by a series of confrontations. Rising unemployment forced many jobless laborers to enact a sit-in in the Ministry of Labor compound, demanding social welfare and job creation programs. On March 20, Zahra Dorostkar, a woman denied work and whose husband, a factory worker, was recently discharged, spoke to a crowd of protesters:

I want to know why radio and television do not broadcast our grievances to inform the world of our sufferings and to make them appreciate how little [the authorities] are offering us. I am telling you, I will not leave this place unless [the authorities] consider my living conditions![2]

Dorostkar’s demand elegantly signifies the contradictions and ironies of the 1979 Revolution and its aftermath. Revolutionary upset provided the space within which she and other poor women and men could lend voice to their struggles and enter into the newly re-constituted political sphere. And yet, in the following years, the state’s brutal disciplinary apparatus imposed new restrictions and the shift toward neoliberal structural adjustments forced poor and underclass populations into even greater precarity and destitution.[3]

This paper represents an intervention into the historiographical debates surrounding the rise of the underclass from the mid-20th century to the 1979 Revolution and its aftermath. The literature is generally divided into two broader groups. First, there is a vast literature that attempts to ascertain the causes and detail the history of the 1979 Revolution,[4] in which the underclass—rarely the object of analysis—frequently materializes, narratively, at the moment of contestation (and cooperation) between leftist guerilla groups and Islamist forces in urban spaces and factories.[5] Second is the sociological literature, which frequently places urban impoverishment and rural-to-urban migration within a world-systemic context. Migration is understood as the result of exploitive, dependent capitalism’s[6] tendency to force the “reserve army of labor” into squatter communities, shantytowns, and informal Third World economies.[7] While valuable and deeply relavent, these theories arguably neglect specific historical and ideological circumstances in order to facilitate generalization.[8] This paper does not attempt to establish one central cause of the Islamic Revolution, or to explain the influx of urban migrants to various cities in the so-called developing world throughout the 20th century. Rather, it seeks to contextualize the struggles of the underclass in Tehran within these broader narratives, and to show the particular discursive, political, and social battles poor people undertook in the periods before, during, and after the 1979 Revolution. Two significant scholars of poor Iranian migrants—Farhad Kazemi and Asef Bayat—will be read together and against each other. From peasantry to squatters, from Pahlavi to Islamic rule, the narrative reveals that the underclass engaged in daily struggles for survival and entertained a complex set of connections with the ideological and social forces of the period. These struggles were profoundly political, despite attempts to frame the underclass as passive, excessively ideological, or ignorant of social context.

Methodologically, this paper utilizes a comprehensive range of source material: secondary-source histories of the Revolution; theories of marginality and subalternity; Iranian economic and survey data; ethnographic research; and the speeches, lectures, and publications of Ayatollah Khomeini. The following pages are divided— more or less chronologically—into several sections: an account of the phenomenon of underclass migration from the countryside to urban centers like Tehran; historical background on the Revolution and an assessment of the literature regarding the role of the disenfranchised; and finally an analysis of the discourse surrounding the urban migrant population. Yet first, we must turn to questions of naming.

Naming the Mustaz’afin and Questions of Class Formation

Social classes are abstractions. The so-called underclass is especially indefinite and its borders are therefore fluid; economic precarity, by definition, implies passage from one occupational endeavor to the next, from one social context to another. The approach of classical economists to quantify social classes as functions of capital/income is helpful in a limited sense, but ultimately ignores what Marx conceptualizes as the fundamentally relational nature of class formation.[9] This insight is particularly important in the Iranian case, where, as Kazemi notes, conditions such migratory status, lack of political participation, and concentration in urban slums defined the underclass experience.[10]

While it remains tempting to conceptualize the underclass as a category of persons without employment (the “workless”) or as persons laboring outside the mode of production (“informal laborers”), these categories are far too rigid. Many Iranians passed from one category to the next.[11] Some migrants were members of the industrial working class; most failed to secure entry into formal employment.[12] Most were migrants who lived in south, southeast, and southwest Tehran communities in numbers estimated from 500,000 to 1 million, yet some gained access to more permanent housing.[13] Housing strategies ranged from squatting[14] to shantytown dwelling. These differences were both fluid and important for structuring social arrangements, making a flexibility of analysis important for our purposes. As Michael Denning has argued so persuasively, studying the condition of the wageless is important for decentering the figure of the formal employee in the picture of global capitalism: “The fetishism of the wage may well be the source of capitalist ideologies of freedom and equality, but the employment contract is not the founding moment. For capitalism begins not with the offer of work, but with the imperative to earn a living.”[15] Studying the underclass Tehran offers insight into the functionings of the state, society, and capitalist economy in Iran.

Lastly, there is the question of how the underclass has been named and discursively mobilized in Iran. Khomeini appropriated the term “mustaz’afin” (the disinherited) from Ali Shariati’s translation of Frantz Fanon’s Les Damnés de la Terre (The Wretched of the Earth).[16] Altered from the Qur’anic meaning, which implies meekness and humility, mustaz’afin came to signify the oppressed classes.[17] These masses were largely undifferentiated (broad enough to appeal to bazaaris, merchants, and anti-imperialists) and yet also imagined as the shanty dwellers, the downtrodden, the hungry, and the destitute on whose behalf the Revolution was said to be fought.

We shall turn to the discursive mobilization of this concept later on. For now, it is useful to note the extent to which Khomeini’s evocations of the mustaz’afin bring us full circle. This concept, coming so fortuitously to Khomeini via Ali Shariati via Fanon, finds its origin in Marx’s lumpenproletariat from the Eighteenth Brumaire. Marx distinguished the lumpenproletariat—thieves, beggars, and vagabonds—from the industrial working class, which he thought possessed the only real revolutionary potential.[18] Fanon disagreed and repurposed the term for the anti-colonial context when he wrote: “Abandoning the countryside…landless peasants, now a lumpenproletariat, are driven into the towns, crammed into the shanty towns and endeavor to infiltrate the ports and cities, the creations of colonial domination,”[19] and later,  “These jobless, these species of subhumans, redeem themselves in their own eyes and before history.”[20] The phenomenon Fanon was describing with such revolutionary aspirations, rural-to-urban mass migration, is widely detailed in the dependency theory literature.[21] In the Iranian case, it is particularly significant for understanding the underclass in Tehran.

From Rural Peasantry to Urban Poverty: Modernization and Migration

At the beginning of the 20th century, Iranian population size was steady. By the end of World War II, however, population growth increased so drastically that by 1976 more than 46 percent of the population lived in urban areas and the boundaries of cities were enlarged a substantial amount, incorporating many peasants into urban life without the need for migration.[22] Yet peasant migration to the cities was substantial, accounting for more than 35 percent of the population increase within a matter of decades.[23] This created a strain on the residential system, with a shortage of 78,000 housing units in Tehran in 1966.[24] It is within this context that Tehran witnessed a rise in shantytowns and squatting communities.

This process finds its origins in the authoritarian state-building and modernization initiatives of Reza Shah. When the early Pahlavi regime attempted to exert control over the periphery, landowners and state officials resorted to bribery; living standards for the poor vastly decreased, therefore, because of commercialization of the land and the increasing tendency to extract surplus value from tenants, many of whom were poor and became landless.[25] While Reza Shah adopted many of the tendencies of earlier nationalists and constitutionalists, he was largely uninterested in land reform, and his economic policies in fact produced a concentration of land and resources among elites friendly to the regime.[26]

Subaltern and landless peoples were not passive observers of these events. Rather, they employed a set of strategies to contest landowner, khan, and regime power, such as village riots, tax evasion, and the withholding of rents.[27] This is significant for two reasons. First, it foreshadows other forms of protest and subversion that future generations utilized in order to survive amidst state and private exploitation. Second, it demonstrates the historiographical issues of concern: that elite narratives frequently conceal these actions from the domain of “political history.” From 1962-1971, Mohammad Reza Shah enacted land redistributions. Yet nearly one million peasants failed to receive assistance.[28] Despite these and earlier attempts from Mossadegh’s Nation Front government to limit landowner profit, by the 1970s the “highly mechanized agricultural operations,”—jointly financed by private, public and foreign capital— made rural life difficult for the emerging underclass. By the late 1970s, following the 1973 oil boom, agricultural output was merely 9.4 percent of the national economy.[29]

Those left out of processes such as industrialization and modernization increasingly fit the image of Fanon’s wretched of the earth. Massive dislocations of peasants from the countryside and into the cities (Tehran in particular, but also Arak, Shiraz, Ahwaz, and others) reached their apogee by 1980, when nearly one million poor inhabited slum dwellings, according to the Tehran Census.[30] Settlement typically took the form of squatting and gradual illegal seizure of unoccupied land, or the formation of shantytowns in South Tehran. This gradual infiltration is distinct from the formation of Latin American squatter settlements, which might have prevented some group solidarity and cohesion that would normally result from “large-scale invasion…of preempted land.”[31] Nevertheless, the discrimination and struggles faced by the underclass in Tehran produced a series of resistances. The following section analyzes the contested relationship between the underclass and the 1979 Revolution.

Marginality or Mobilization? An Assessment of the Literature

The 1979 Revolution has been attributed to various forces—repressive state activity, economic depression in the 1970s despite the oil boom, cultural resistances, and dependent development.[32] Many scholars have attributed the immediate appearance of opposition to Carter-era human rights discourses that opened the space for political critique in the press.[33] An article insulting Ayatollah Khomeini instigated protests in Qum, leading to the deaths of protesters. Large-scale protests followed with mass participation in various cities and carried out by diverse social groups: secular and religious people, men and women, leftists and conservatives. There were middle-class and elderly remnant supporters of the National Front, and revolutionary guerilla groups like the Mujahidin (with Marxist and Muslim offshoots) and the Feda’iyan (with various subgroups and constituencies).[34] The children of bazaaris and ‘ulama—groups left out of incorporation into the world economic system and state centralization respectively—were frequent sources for these movements,[35] as were students, workers, and some members of the underclass. While it is not possible to summarize the literature here, to assess matters regarding the “disinherited” vis-à-vis the Revolution is to necessarily address two important questions: first, who was mobilized and why, and second, how did the clergy’s organizational preparedness and discursive deployment of the mustaz’afin compensate for any lack of literal mobilization, and in doing so, help to confer victory?

With regards to the first question, there is ample historical and statistical evidence that suggests the underclass—residents of shantytowns, squatters, the jobless or informally employed—were not the major participants in the Revolution.[36] This is confirmed in the anthropological literature surrounding the poor in South Tehran[37] and in a statistical survey of the economic statuses of 646 protesters killed from August 1978 to February 1979.[38]  While this represents a point of agreement between Bayat and Kazemi, the two scholars disagree in several important regards. This paper argues, against Kazemi, that lower levels of underclass participation in the 1979 Revolution do not indicate passivity or lack of participation in the newly re-articulated political sphere, but rather the opposite. In contrast, and against Bayat, disenfranchised people’s daily struggles for survival did not make them impervious to the ideological and political manipulations of Islamist, leftist, or other groups. In short, the underclass existed within a particular historical and ideological context distinct from the experiences of other poor and disenfranchised people in the Global South.

Kazemi’s analysis[39] employs the concept of marginality as a structuring analytic tool for assessing the subalternity of urban migrants:

These poor migrants lead a marginal life on the fringes of urban society. They are products of an economic system that has created and perpetuated their marginality, whether in the countryside as the sharecropper or in the city as the migrant poor. The migrants’ marginality is attested by their socioeconomic position as underclass, by their political participation as nonparticipant, and by their status position as nonprivledged.[40]

While some of the extreme poor participated in the 1978-79 demonstrations in Tehran against the regime, Kazemi conceives of this as unexceptional given the diverse cross-section of antiregime activity. Further, he finds that official party membership was strikingly low, with 6 percent of migrants interviewed reporting party affiliations; further, lack of education, access to networks of activism, and preoccupations with pressing concerns such as food and sustenance might have decreased the potential for agitation.[41] The available ethnographic and economic data further support this argument. Nonsquatting poor migrants (those legally, if not comfortably, housed in slums) were more likely than squatters to participate in anti-Shah activities,[42] perhaps because of access to networks in shantytowns that would connect migrants to the merchant, artisan and religious organizations that isolated (and unlawful) squatters would not experience.[43] Further, the increasing maldistribution of wealth[44] likely angered the underclass, whose struggles could be placed alongside those of Iranians belonging to different social classes.

Kazemi’s focus on political marginality, lack political awareness, and lack of formal party affiliation is arguably problematic in two respects. First, it risks a certain level of condescension insofar as elite political know-how becomes the sole benchmark for access to the public sphere. Second, it overlooks the ways in which, as Bayat describes, the underclass used the opening created in the late 1970s to mobilize in their own political struggles for housing, jobs, and security from state violence.

Bayat describes underclass struggles as the “quiet encroachment of the ordinary.” Engaging with James Scott and Antonio Gramsci by countering the revolutionary/passive dichotomy implicit in much of their work, he argues that underclass mobilizations are sometimes gradual, often driven by necessity more than ideology, and frequently self-generating.[45] Yet he refuses to romanticize the figure of the disenfranchised, noting for instance that many of the ultra-poor viewed the Shah as a great patron and savior for all Iranians.[46] What makes Bayat’s account more compelling than Kazemi’s, in certain ways, is a broader definition of “political” or “revolutionary” activity. This enables Bayat to notice a different set of histories and voices. As one South Tehran squatter declared after Khomeini returned from exile:

Swear to God, this is unfair; we are told: ‘a revolution has occurred.’ Then we came to believe that our situation would change. And that we would not suffer that much anymore. But the only thing we saw of the revolution was this: one day we heard from the TV that the Shah had gone and Mr. Khomeini had returned! And nothing else. [47]

The nature of 1970s revolutionary upset provided a space within which poor Iranians could make political demands, and insist that the government (whichever it was) be held accountable for its promises.

Starting in autumn of 1977, the Pahlavi regime began demolition programs of informal (“cavelike”) settlements in the following neighborhoods in Tehran’s suburbs: Afsariyeh, Mushiriyeh, Kavousiyeh, Mesgarabad, and Dowlatabad.[48] Emboldened, yet acting independent of any organizations, the poor engaged in strategies of resistance and subterfuge, setting cars on fire, throwing shovels and clubs at municipality officers, and refusing to leave the compounds in which they lived.[49] These strategies strongly resemble the strategies of noncompliance employed by the rural, peasant underclass in response to financial pressures from rural elites and Reza Shah’s regime just forty years earlier.[50] Once the historian broadens her or his conceptualizations of political mobilization, moments of political expression that were foreclosed within elite histories become increasingly significant and ever more visible.

Bayat’s insights are significant for another historiographical reason. To suggest that rural dislocations produced migration, which produced the Islamic Revolution, is to ascribe to an extremely teleological view of history. In this framework, actions are legitimized and recognized as revolutionary (or at least “non-passive”) only to the extent that they conform to post-hoc notions of revolutionary victory. With regards to the 1979 Revolution especially, it is important to understand the series of upheavals that resulted in Islamic victory as a sequence of highly contested interactions, which resulted in the institutionalization and consolidation of the “Islamic” republic; in other words, as Moghadam argues, the outcome of the 1977-1979 Revolution was not at all predetermined.[51] Furthermore, ascribing to a teleological view that posits all antiregime agitation as ultimately producing an Islamist victory erases not just the history of the underclass, but also of many women, students, leftist groups, and ethnic minorities (especially Kurds, Azeris, Beluchis, and Iranian Arabs[52]) who all participated in various social movements from which they were sometimes forced to retreat.

Despite Bayat’s useful emphasis on daily, non-ideological struggles for survival, Kazemi is correct in highlighting the occasional successes of Islamic mobilization of Tehran’s poor. As Kazemi points out, the Shi’i clergy had deep historical connections to the poor, who frequently attended mosques and shrines during Shi’i festivals.[53] This proved useful for mobilization of the underclass. For example, Khomeini was able to utilize the Shi’i festival during the month of Moharram (which commemorates Imam Husayn’s death at the hands of the Sunni Caliph, Yazid) in the following manner:

Moharram, the month of courage and sacrifice, has arrived. This is the month during which the blood of martyrs defeated the sword and truth overcame falsehood, rendering the satanic rule of tyrants futile…Islam is for the oppressed today and the peasants and the poor.[54]

Bayat insists that allegations regarding clergy use of Moharram and other holidays to mobilize the underclass are largely unfounded; he cites evidence that the mustaz’afin only entered Khomeini’s rhetoric at the climax of the revolution to “disarm the left’s proletarian discourse.”[55] This remains a point of contention. Bayat rejects demeaning and problematic tendencies to frame the Third World poor as excessively ideological and passive. And yet, as Kazemi notes, to the extent that the underclass mobilized in the 1979 Revolution, it was often within a religious context, shouting Allahu Akbar [God is Great] from rooftops and using religious symbols in combat against the Shah’s forces, for instance.[56] In all likelihood, underclass participation in the 1979 Revolution varied from survival strategies to left or Islamist motivations. What is clear, however, is that the underclass continuously reappeared discursively on the side of the Islamists. 

Islamic Populism: A Close Reading of Khomeini

As Ervand Abrahamian has argued, Khomeini’s rhetoric during the mid-1970s framed the mustaz’afin [the disinherited] as the responsibility of ‘ulama, whose obligation was to protect these masses from the West and everything it signified: the Pahlavi regime, capitalism, exploitation, and impiety.[57] Especially post-1970, due to the influence of Ali Shariati and the Mujahidin,[58] Khomeini began to make statements that transformed its Qur’anic meaning: “In a truly Islamic society, there will be no landless peasants,” “We are for Islam, not for capitalism and feudalism,” and “Islam represents the shanty town dwellers, not the palace dwellers.”[59]

A careful reading of Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1970 Velayat-e faqih [Governance of the Jurist] revealed a similar discourse, deploying the poor masses (and other concepts) in an attempt to secure the necessity of Islamic guardianship or governance (i.e. theocratic rule). In essence, the text (which was originally a series of lectures delivered to his disciples) fused “religion and politics in the institutionalized figure of the jurisprudent,”[60] who was responsible not to the people but to Islam. Popular legitimacy was fortuitous, perhaps, but not centrally necessary.[61] Despite this central preoccupation, the poor appeared (paradoxically) to lend legitimacy to the regime: “They [the elites, backed by the West] want us to remain afflicted and wretched, and our poor to be trapped in their misery. Instead of surrendering to the injunctions of Islam, which provide a solution for the problem of poverty, they and their agents wish to go on living in huge places and enjoy lives of abominable luxury.”[62] Yet the text also held the destitute as a means to a greater Islamic end: “The taxes Islam levies and the form of budget it has established are not merely for the sake of providing subsistence to the poor…they are also intended to make possible, the establishment of a great government.”[63] In this respect, the Islamic Republic is best described, as Moghadam argues, as Islamic populist for its combination of the traditional with the modern, the popular with the theocratic.[64] Discursively, the undifferentiated quality of the mustaz’afin and the flexibility and permeability of the concept helped Shi’i clergy appeal to bazaaris, merchants, religious elites, and devout sectors of the general population, all of whom witnessed the massive dislocation and migration of poor and underclass people into their cities, in addition to authoritarian pressures and economic transformations that characterized the history of 20th century Iran.

Conclusion: The Disinherited and Globalization

History has not been kind to the Iranian mustaz’afin. An estimated 2.5 million Iranians (21 percent of the workforce) lost their jobs after the 1979 Revolution, following economic difficulties, the abandonment of construction projects, and the termination of restaurants, theaters, and enterprises deemed too “Western.”[65] As the protesters who occupied the Ministry of Labor compound realized extremely quickly, their fates laid in the hands of a government less interested in the downtrodden once the tides had turned. As Bayat notes, the Provisional Government offered loans to 180,000 jobless laborers and attempted job creation programs in the short term, but these were partial steps and most were forced to return to petty trade, peddling, and vending on the streets.[66] In the postwar and post-Khomeini era, the Iranian government enacted popular worldwide shifts towards “economic liberalization and self-administered stabilization programs,”[67] marking the end of populist economic policies and signaling the reintegration of Iran into the capitalist world-system. A comprehensive study from the International Federation for Human Rights reports that foreign-imposed sanctions, unemployment, and lack of labor rights weigh especially heavily on the Iranian poor today.[68] Future research will be required to assess the role that neoliberal structural adjustments, foreign economic domination, and the removal of social safety nets have exerted on the underclass in Tehran and in cities across the Global South. At the moment, it seems Fanon’s dream of the wretched of the earth redeeming themselves before their eyes and before history has yet to be realized.

This paper has sought to re-articulate the history of subaltern migrants to Tehran without falling into the dominant historiographies of modernization and development on the one hand, or the teleological view of an inevitably “Islamic” revolution on the other. To speak of the Islamic revolution as a monolith suppresses the experiences of “the powerless, the poor, minorities, women, and other subaltern[s]”[69] whose struggles, however incomplete and ongoing, marked an important moment in the history of 20th century Iran.


Christopher Malley (’18) is a sophomore in Davenport College.


Works Cited

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[1] Asef Bayat, “Workless Revolutionaries: The Unemployed Movement in Revolutionary Iran.” In Subalterns and Social Protest: History from Below in the Middle East and North Africa, edited by Stephanie Cronin (New York: Routledge, 2008), 97-8.

[2] Ibid., 98.

[3] Valentine M. Moghadam, “Islamic Populism, Class, and Gender in Postrevolutionary Iran.” In A Century of Revolution: Social Movements in Iran, edited by John Foran, 189-217.

(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 217.

[4] John Foran, “The Iranian Revolution of 1977-79: A Challenge for Social Theory.” In A Century of Revolution: Social Movements in Iran, edited by John Foran (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 160-188.

[5] Nikki R. Keddie, Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), 257.

[6] See Robert Rhodes, Imperialism and Underdevelopment: A Reader (New York: Monthly Review, 1970).

[7] Samir Amin, Unequal Development (New York: Monthly Review, 1976).

[8] Farhad Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution in Iran: The Migrant Poor, Urban Marginality, and Politics (New York, New York: New York UP, 1980), 9.

[9] John Milios, “Social Class in Classical and Marxist Political Economy.” (American Journal of Economics And Sociology: Kansas City, April 2000), 283.

[10] Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution, 4.

[11] Bayat, “Workless Revolutionaries,” 98.

[12] Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution, 97.

[13] Ibid., 4.

[14] Defined as “forcible preemption of land by landless and homeless people” in Ibid., 46.

[15] Michael Denning, “Wageless Life” (London: New Left Review, 66, November-December 2010), 3.

[16] Ervand Abrahamian, Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic. (Berkeley: University of California, 1993), 47.  

[17] Ibid., 43-44.

[18] Denning, “Wageless Life,” 11.

[19] Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: New York, Grove Press, 2004), 66.

[20] Ibid., 81-2.

[21] Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution, 8.

[22] Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution, 14.

[23] Iran, Plan and Budget Organization (Iranian Statistical Center, “Barrisi-yi Ijmali-yi Muhajirat bih Mantiq-i Shahri”), qtd. in Ibid., 14.

[24] Mohammed Hemassi, “Tehran in Transition: A Study in Comparative Factorial Ecology,” in The Population of Iran: A Selection of Readings, ed. Jamshid Momeni (Honolulu: East-West Population Institute, 1977), 364.

[25] Stephanie Cronin,  “Resisting the New State: The Rural Poor, Land and Modernity in Iran, 1921-1941.” In Subalterns and Social Protest: History from Below in the Middle East and North Africa, edited by Stephanie Cronin, 141-170. (New York: Routledge, 2008), 63-4.

[26] Ibid., 63.

[27] Ibid., 143, 164

[28] Ibid., 165

[29] Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution, 34.

[30] Asef Bayat, Street Politics: Poor People’s Movements in Iran (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 174.

[31] Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution, 48.

[32] Foran, “The Iranian Revolution,” 181.

[33] Keddie, Roots of Revolution, 231.

[34] Ibid., 239.

[35] Ibid, 238.

[36] Bayat, Street Politics, 38-9; also see Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution in Iran, 88.

[37] Janet Bauer, “Poor Women and Social Consciousness in Revolutionary Iran,” In G. Nashat, ed., Women and Revolution in Iran. (Boulder: Westerview, 1983), 160.

[38] Sohbatollah Amjad, “Social background of the martyrs of the Islamic revolution, August 23, 1978-February 19, 1979 (University of Tehran, 1982); Unpublished master’s thesis; qtd. in Bayat, Street Politics, 39.

  1. 178-79 for the thesis; qtd. in Bayat 39.

[39] Importantly, Kazemi’s study was published in 1980, one year after the establishment of the new government. In such times of political upheaval, the subtleties of the poor’s relationship to the regime had yet to be subjected to historical analysis. Moments of tactical skill and political resistance might appear as mere disorganization in the face of tremendous mobilization by a variety of organized political movements.

[40] Ibid., 4.

[41] Ibid., 74.

[42] Ibid., 88.

[43] Foran, “The Iranian Revolution of 1977-79,” 179.

[44] M. A. Pesaran, “Income Distribution in Iran,” In Iran: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Jane Jacqz (New York: Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, 1976), 280.

[45] Bayat, Street Politics, 6-7.

[46] Ibid., 39.

[47] Ibid., 35.

[48] Ibid., 46

[49] Ibid., 46-7.

[50] Cronin, “Resisting the New State,” 63-4.

[51] Moghadam, “Islamic Populism, Class, and Gender,” 192,199.

[52] Bayat, “Workless Revolutionaries,” 93.

[53] Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution in Iran, 94.

[54] Ruhollah Khomeini, “The Message of Ayatollah Khomeini to the Brave People of Iran on the Occasion of Moharram,” Iran Interrupts, ed. Ali-Reza Nobari (Stanford: Iran-America Documentation Group, 1978), 229-31.

[55] Bayat, Street Politics, 43.

[56] Kazemi, Poverty and Revolution in Iran, 95.

[57] Ervand Abrahamian, The Iranian Mojahedin (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 22.

[58] Abrahamian, Khomeinism, 47

[59] qtd. in Abrahamian, The Iranian Mojahedin, 22.

[60] Amr G.E. Sabet, “Wilayat al-Faqih and the Meaning of Islamic Government” In A Critical Introduction to Khomeini ed., Arshin Adib-Moghaddam (New York: Cambridge University Press 2014), 81.

[61] Ibid., 81.

[62] Imam Khomeini, Governance of the Jurist (Velayat-e Faqih). Trans. Hamid Algar. (Tehran: Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works, International Affairs Division 1970), 14.

[63] Ibid., 24.

[64] Moghadam, “Islamic Populism, Class, and Gender,” 192.

[65] Bayat, “Workless Revolutionaries,” 94.

[66] Ibid., 110.

[67] Moghadam, “Islamic Populism, Class, and Gender,” 190.

[68] “Iran: Rising Poverty, Declining Labor Rights,” League for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran (Paris: International Federation for Human Rights, 2013).

[69] Bayat, Street Politics, 5.