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Gharbzadegi

GHARBZADEGI

Persian term meaning "Weststruck."

Coined in the late 1940s and made a household term in Iran's intellectual circles by writer and social critic Jalal Al-e Ahmad (19231969) in a clandestinely published book by the same name (1962, 1964), gharbzadegi signals a chief sociological notion and concern among many Iranians in the postWorld War II era.

As Al-e Ahmad describes it, throughout the twentieth century Iran has resorted to "Weststruck" behavioradopting and imitating Western models and using Western criteria in education, the arts, and culture in generalwhile serving passively as a market for Western goods and also as a pawn in Western geopolitics. Consequently threatened with loss of cultural, if not Iranian, identity, Al-e Ahmad argues that Iran must gain control over machines and become a producer rather than a consumer, even though once having overcome Weststruckness it will still face that desperate situation, he argues, that remains in the Westthat of "machinestruckness."

See also al-e ahmad, jalal; iran.


Bibliography

Al-e Ahmad, Jalal. Occidentosis: A Plague from the West (Gharbzadegi), translated by R. Campbell. Berkeley, CA: Mizan Press, 1983.

Al-e Ahmad, Jalal. Plagued by the West (Gharbzadegi), translated by Paul Sprachman. Delmor, NY: Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University, 1982.

Al-e Ahmad, Jalal. Weststruckness (Gharbzadegi), translated by John Green and Ahmad Alizadeh. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 1997.

michael c. hillmann

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