Volume 19, Issue 74 (11-2019)                   refahj 2019, 19(74): 247-286 | Back to browse issues page

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mohaghegh montazeri M. Explaining the Role of Economic and Social Capital in Shaping Social Aspirations: A Case study on the Youth Living in Tehran. refahj. 2019; 19 (74) :247-286
URL: http://refahj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-3370-en.html
Abstract:   (2989 Views)
Extended Abstract
Introduction: For the first time, the concept of American Dream was used by James Adams in 1931, and his idea of United States of America as a land where dreams will be fullfield, and life for everyone will be more comfortable and acceptable. In the United States (US) people must have equal opportunities for success. This dream is not the dream of having luxuary cars and royal lives, but the dream of having a land with a social order in which people must be known for what they are and not because of their familes or what they have. The American dream is about the hope and talent of change, which suggests that all people through hard work can succeed and have the potential for a happy and a successful life. Many people think that American society believes in the idealist goals embedded in American dream. For people who believe in the American dream, everything is accomplished through hard work, but one should also point to the roots of inequality in class, race, and ethnicity, thus it means an American dream is not accessible to everyone. American sociologist Merton, in the 1940s, became curious about the “American Dream” and became a perversion for American society. He proposed his curiosity in the form of a theory called “Structural Pressure”; according to this theory, a dream was evolving under the name of an American dream that was able to bring everyone from nothing to everything, which for a long time, was the biggest and most powerful incentive. Merton, in other words, concluded that the American dream, which was promoted and encouraged mainly by the media, has implications for society. In the present study, inspired by Merton’s main idea, it is allempted to discover the aspirations or goals of the youth of Iran, seeking to find factors which identify the factors that contribute to shaping the Iranian dream and discover the structural factors shape the aspirations and dreams of the Iranian youth.
People’s whishes are not created in a purely personal and individual way, but the objective position of people in society determines the ceiling of wishes. Dreams or wishes of people are influenced by external conditions and differ depending on the living conditions of individuals. Wishes are different from one another, the desired wishes of a particular class are impossible and unattainable for the other class, which is a class distance among various social groups.
Method: In the present study, to achieve young people wishes, a qualitative exploratory method has been used. The results have been obtained by qualitative method through an in-depth interview technique concering young people living in Tehran. The sampling which structured on economic and cultural capital, was carried out in two ways: non-probabilistic sampling while questions generated from responses (snowballing) and random (selection). Samples were collected in the northern and southern parts of Tehran, based on high and low cultural and economic capital. Samples from the north of Tehran were selected in the National Library of Iran and samples from the south were randomly selected from Shahreray and Khaniabad.
Findings: The wishes of individuals originate from the primary and secondary habits of the family, educational environment, peer groups, etc. People’s wishes are more individually oriented than social. The boys’ wishes for education, employment, and marriage are different among those with different economic and cultural capital. Among the lower classes, career is more important than education, but in the upper classes, the importance of education is highlighted. Girl’s wishes are education, marriage, and calm life, and ultimately a goodcarer basis. Young people with higher education and medium-sized middle-class incomes have the desire to study at the best foreign universities.
Findings of the research indicate the distance between the two classes having different levels of economic and cultural capitals; among the upper middle-class youth they preferred to be university professors and working for private sector (rathe than publice sector) or running their businness. They wished to study to receive a Ph.D. and a post-doctoral degree. But young people at Bachelor’s level are satisfied with Master’s degree, and they wish to get a gob at public sector because they belived that state-run jobs are better. In terms of marrage, young people look for a calm life and true love. In other words, their dreams are closer to each other despite their economic and cultural backgrounds, and they mostly like to marry someone from their own sociocultural level.
The findings of this research also show that there is a concordance between objective fortune and subjective wishes, and people’s wishes are distinct by their economic and cultural capitals. The youth living in northern part of the city, are almost sure about achieving their wishes. The middle class has strong voluntarism and ambitious wishes. The youth from the southern areas also adapt there wishes to their living conditions, which leads to the sterilization of the dialectic of wishes and probabilities. People with a high cultural capital were found to have a common dream to continue studying at universities outside of Iran; therefore, the typology of wishes have come to terms with economic and cultural capitals.
Discussion: The wishes of young people in different social classes are different from one another it is due to the fact that aspirations are shaped by the objective and real situation of every individuals, and the conditions of life that shape ambition, achievable wishes, impossible desires and other kinds of wishes. Living condition in Iran as far as economic, social, cultural, and political dimensions are concerned, are verey important and have a direct influence on the personal lives of individual. They also have a direct effect in shaping these individuals goals and dreams. This is due to the fact that the transition of the Iranian society condidering economic and social dimensions, and in general its recognition as one of the developing countries, have shaped the condition to meet the needs and also the means necessary to be realizaed.
Ethical Considerations
Funding
In this research, all expenses were paid by the author and there were no sponsors.
Conflicts of interest
This article does not overlap with other published works by the author.
Acknowledgments
In this article, all rights relating to references are cited and resources are carefully listed
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Type of Study: orginal |
Received: 2019/03/12 | Accepted: 2019/10/6 | Published: 2020/01/18

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