Perspectives of Iranian men to sexual violence in the UK

  • Atlas Torbati

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study explores two aims: 1) To explore the differences in the perceptions of Iranian men regarding sexual violence (SV) as a form of violence against women (VAW) ; and, 2) To analyse the reasons behind the SV incidents.

In order to examine these issues, a qualitative study, in the form of in-depth semi- structured interviews was conducted with 30 Iranian participates living in the UK. Their views were analysed using Framework Analysis.

The analysis was grounded on the concepts and meanings that have emerged from feminist writings in relation to SV. Within this thesis, definitions of SV, authoritarian hegemonic masculinities and multiple forms of masculinities in diaspora were found to be important analytical categories. Therefore, the overarching theoretical framework for this thesis was established to be Connell’s (1987,1995, 2002, 2005) hegemonic masculinity (HM). It was found that various cultural and religious discourses play a key role in the construction of masculinities in Iranian society, which tend to subordinate and marginalise femininities. Consequently, three main themes were formed: ‘Definitions of VAW and SV’, ‘Gender, power and SV’ and ‘Gender, class and SV’. The concepts of ‘homogenisation’, and ‘otherness’ were consistent throughout these themes.

‘Hegemonic Cultural Masculinities’ (HCM) is suggested as an additional concept and as a subcategory of HM to explore the lived experiences of Muslim Iranian men in diaspora. The emergence of various and new forms of masculinities demonstrate that masculinities are not static but are fluid and mobile throughout history and geographical location.
Date of Award25 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorEmma Williamson (Supervisor) & Nadia Aghtaie (Supervisor)

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