Redefining Resiliency, Resistance, and Oppression: A Case Study of the Bahá'i Underground University in Iran

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Missaghi, Kimiya Tahirih




Iran's Bahá'í community is the country's largest religious minority and has been systematically oppressed since its founding in 1844. Bahá'ís are barred from higher education in Iran and the Bahá'í community has responded to this formal exclusion by establishing their own underground university known as the Bahá'í Institute of Higher Education (BIHE). BIHE's existence and growth exemplify perseverance and resilience under intergenerational pressure and makes for an excellent case study to examine resiliency and resistance. Using qualitative methodologies, this thesis investigates the nature of resiliency among 15 BIHE alumni. Many theories of resiliency do not adequately account for how resiliency is modeled and adopted. This study proposes that resiliency is a socially embedded process that propels both the individual and the community forward. Additional themes that emerged in defining resiliency included developing individual characteristics, advancing resources within the community, improving circumstances, tools of resistance, a non-violent approach, and seeking justice.


Social Structure and Development
Education - Higher




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Legal Studies

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Theses and Dissertations

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