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Middle Class Community in Tehran: Social Networks, Social Support and Marital Relationships (Iran)

Опубликовано на портале: 19-05-2004
Организация: University of Toronto
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Социология, Экономическая социология, Экономическая социология: Социально-экономическая дифференциация. Бедность, Социальная стратификация

The main goal of this study is to examine the characteristics of the networks of Tehrani men and women (structure, composition, and content), their effects upon the flow of resources, and the association between the structure of network and marital relationships. In addition to studying the effects of network structure on housework division, this thesis examines other possible explanatory factors (time availability, gender role ideology, and the power resources of couples) in order to identify the effects of network characteristics on division of housework. This thesis focuses on different aspects of personal networks. Using a personal network approach, it analyzes the characteristics of middle class community in the Islamic and Middle Eastern context of Iran, and it provides detailed information about the social networks of middle class individuals. As such, it contributes to the scarce existing network literature dealing with middle-class networks in developing countries. The analysis is based on 318 structured, face-to-face interviews that were conducted with individuals from the 159 households. Both husband and wife from each household were interviewed. The sample represents Tehran's middle class households who were randomly chosen from five districts (10 neighborhoods). The approach is similar to the approaches developed by Fischer (1982) and Wellman and Wortley (1989, 1990) with a few revisions to suit Iranian conditions. Findings show that women and men do not differ with respect to the structure and composition of their networks. However, they differ in the relational characteristics of their networks; e.g., the way of contact, and the level of multiplexity. Women and men's networks contain a large proportion of kin overall. This may not be a matter of their individual preferences but a result of the opportunity structure. Middle class Tehranis' networks principally provide advice, emotional aid, and companionship. Men and women perform different supportive roles both within the family and outside. While women provide feminine types of support (e.g., services) men are the main provider of the more masculine types of support (e.g., financial support). Gender is the most important determinant of household tasks. The findings also indicate that the nature of the support network, and time availability are associated with the gendered division of domestic tasks, the results are different for men and women. Network density and time availability are significant predictors of men's involvement in housework, while total spousal support is the main predictor of women involvement in domestic tasks. The impact of social and economic changes on Tehranis' networks is discussed.

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