Abstract

This article explores women’s agency in the production of handwoven rugs in both rural and urban areas of contemporary northern Iran. It examines research data through an intersectional lens to understand how various factors render subjects able or unable to apply a specific form of agency in relation to the handweaving tradition in northern Iran. This study is the result of empirical research in two villages, Sakineh-abaad and Anbarran, and two cities, Rasht and Tehran. While for one group of women weaving is incompatible with modern ideals of womanhood and provides no means of class mobility, for the other group weaving is an empowering tool and a resource for gaining economic and cultural capital. Each group of research participants shows a specific form of agency and multiple experiences of subjecthood embedded in its weaving practices.

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