Between politics, religion and western influence
Sociology emerged in Iran in the context of a Western-oriented modernization program instituted by a patrimonial state. The discipline developed, after it was established in the educational institutions, to train administrators for the emerging state bureaucracies. Despite this official role and lack of a distinct identity, the discipline gained popularity by the mid-twentieth century and soon acquired controversial status because of its ideological and political orientation. Since its inception, the discipline has had to confront not only the ambivalences of a modern social science, but also the ideological and political tensions of Iranian society. In what follows, I will present briefly the history of the field in the broader context of social sciences within the modern educational system.